by Stephen Garner
Woolrich’s SoHo Store

American outdoor clothing company Woolrich Inc. and Woolrich Europe, licensee of the trademark for Europe and Asia, owned by W.P. Lavori in Corso, jointly-announced today the completion of an agreement to merge into Woolrich International, a new holding company responsible for leading and accelerating the future growth and development of the Woolrich brand, both in the North American market and worldwide.

The agreement includes all of the entity’s industrial assets, the rights associated with the brand and the entire distribution network. Financial terms of the private transaction have not been disclosed.

The newly-formed company, Woolrich International will be headquartered in London and will coordinate the operating offices in New York City, Woolrich Pennsylvania, and Bologna and Milan, Italy. The new entity will have a global workforce of 300 people, with a closing provision of an annual turnover of $190 million for 2016. This transaction allows the Woolrich brand to continue its path of development with prospects for an annual average growth of 12 percent from 2017 to 2020, expected to reach an annual turnover of $300 million by 2020, employing 500 people. This expansion is supported by a capital expenditure plan of about $50 million, aimed to reach over 60 points of sale.

“The core values of our family and all Woolrich people are the same as those of our partner,” said Nicholas Brayton, president of Woolrich Inc. “This agreement is a milestone in the growth of an iconic American brand that has been on the market for almost two centuries. The new strategy will translate into further acceleration of our international growth and we could not be more excited about that this means for the future of Woolrich.”

Image from Woolrich John Rich & Bros. Fall/Winter ’16 collection

Woolrich International, at the end of the four years strategic plan, aims to be listed through an IPO in a prominent international stock market with the purpose to sustain the second growth phase on the emerging markets with superior potential. The execution of the IPO will be evaluated even considering possible strategic alliances which can accelerate the implementation of the 2017-2020 plan.

Cristina Calori, chairman and CEO of W.P. Lavori in Corso and Woolrich Europe, will lead the merged organization, assuming the role of chairman of Woolrich International. Paolo Corinaldesi has been appointed chief executive officer. Andrea Canè, creative director for Woolrich Europe, has been appointed global creative director with complete creative responsibility for all Woolrich collections and brand image. Nicholas Brayton, 7th-generation descendent of founder John Rich, will continue his role of President of Woolrich Inc., leading the North American market.

W.P. Lavori in Corso will control and consolidate the new entity, while the Rich family will continue to own a significant stake.

“We are extremely proud of this industrial deal, as with over 32 years of collaboration, we have built an excellent relationship between the Woolrich and W.P. families,” said Cristina Calori, chairman of Woolrich International. “We are determined to enhance our successful business model to foster development of the brand all over the world.”

“Woolrich is America’s oldest outdoor clothing company; its history runs parallel to that of the United States,” added Andrea Canè, global creative director of Woolrich International. “This is what makes the brand unique. With Woolrich John Rich & Bros, we embraced the history and archives to embed protection, functionality and quality into a contemporary outerwear collection recognized by the iconic Arctic Parka. The opportunity with this merger is to create global brand recognition and success, adding to the contemporary line the launch of a new outdoor project.”