Ugg’s Australian expansion

unnamed-16Lifestyle brand, Ugg Australia (Ugg), will continue its rollout of Australian stores, with two to open in Sydney and one earmarked for Melbourne in 2015.

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The global brand was launched in 1978, when a young Australian surfer with a love for sheepskin founded Ugg in southern California.

It has since become a household name, even making it onto Oprah’s ‘favourite things’ list on more than one occasion.

Today, the brand is a division of US-based Deckers Outdoor Corporation, and has more than 70 sites worldwide including stores in Sydney, Melbourne, Auckland, New York, Chicago, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Miami, London, Tokyo, Shanghai, Beijing, and Moscow.

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The first official Australian Ugg store opened in July 2013, and since then the count has grown to four; two in Sydney and two in Melbourne.

Prior to 2013, Ugg was strictly a wholesale business with around 30 stores stocking its products across Australia and New Zealand.

Kylie Joyce, Australian brand manager for Ugg, told Inside Retail PREMIUM, the three year plan is to look for sites in the Gold Coast and Perth.

“As of July we’ve opened four big stores. It’s about trying to create a destination for our global consumers that know and love the brand, so when they come to our market, which is a bit confusing, they’re driven to the right place,” she said.

The Australian stores carry Ugg’s footwear and handbags and small leather goods range, with its larger King St, Sydney; and Emporium, Melbourne stores also stocking Ugg Home and loungewear collections.

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The brand uses a global e-commerce channel but is in discussions to launch a local Australian website in the next 12 months.

The current site offers the option of creating customised Uggs. It’s not yet confirmed whether that feature will make it onto the local Australian website, however, Ugg stores in Sydney and Melbourne offer customised Swarovski crystal stamps that can be placed on products as a gift with purchase to VIP customers.

Over the years Ugg Australia has collaborated with the likes of Jimmy Choo and Swarovski Elements, and Joyce confirmed there will be further collaborations coming to Australia in the next six months.

“There are some really exciting collaborations coming out, but they haven’t been disclosed yet. It will be announced in the next six months and focused around our kids collection.”

This story first appeared in Inside Retail PREMIUM issue 2031. To subscribe, click here.

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