As London-based fashion brand Cos announced it is pulling the trigger on wholesale, the move signals the greater need for mono brands to move past their owned channels to increase their customer base and brand awareness.
The brand, which is owned by Swedish fashion giant H&M, is partnering with three international retailers as part of its wholesale growth strategy. The three retailers — Nordstrom in the U.S., Yoox providing global e-commerce starting in December and German department store Breuninger via its online site – own considerable market share as they are leading retailers in their respective markets.
Cos first opened via a store on London’s iconic Regent Street in 2007, before opening an online store in 2011. The brand has since expanded to Europe, Asia, North America, the Middle East and Australia. However, it is still relatively unknown in the U.S. The partnerships with Yoox and Nordstrom is part of a bigger strategy to bring awareness to the brand, Lloyd Goldby, global head of growth at the brand, told Glossy. Goldby is responsible for the brand’s expansion.
“This move is not about changing our model, but rather evolving our brand strategy to ensure we are enabling the most convenient shopping experience,” he said. “By developing into wholesale, we can meet our customers in more places; we see that many existing and new customers also like to shop on multi-brand platforms.”
“Expanding into wholesale has been in discussion for a while, but now the timing feels right. We know the retail landscape is changing and we need to meet our customers — new and existing — beyond our owned channels, by partnering with best-in-class multi-brand retailers who complement our DNA,” Lea Rytz Goldman, managing director of Cos, said in a statement.
Cos’s wholesale launch is timed with New York Fashion Week, where the brand will show its collection on September 13. In September 2021, the brand presented a collection at London Fashion Week with a hybrid show comprised of a physical catwalk and digital activations. Cos’s strategy for shows is to better align the brand with luxury, rather than high street.
“This ambition to engage and inspire customers in more places is mirrored in our upcoming NYFW show,” said Goldby. “The show will be phygital, combining a physical catwalk with a digital livestream. Ensuring that our contribution to fashion week is as accessible as possible was important to us. [We wanted to create] a place for creativity and innovation to be celebrated, while welcoming new and existing customers to the brand.”