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Quiksilver embarks on ambitious junior's strategy

By Tiffany Montgomery
August 10, 2010 6:53 AM

Quiksilver is embarking on an ambitious segmentation strategy to reach young women who may have outgrown the Roxy brand.

Quiksilver junior'sThe line, called Quiksilver, is aimed at 18 to 24 year olds, with a sweet spot of 19, Kenna Florie, vice president of sales and marketing, told me at Agenda.

Quiksilver does not believe the Roxy customer will be confused because only 7% of girls nationwide know Roxy and Quiksilver are related, according to research conducted by Quiksilver.

The company’s Quiksilver Women’s line, launched two years ago, will become “QSW, A Quiksilver Collection” beginning in fall 2011.

Quiksilver junior's topThe Quiksilver Women’s line is still very small and dwarfed by Roxy, which had sales of $653 million in 2009, according to Quiksilver’s annual report.

The Roxy brand had the most challenging year of all of Quiksilver’s brands in 2009, with sales declining 15%. That’s on top of a 14% decline in 2008.

College Girls

Kenna described the positioning of the female brands and lines this way: Roxy is for high school girls, Quiksilver for college girls and QSW for young women who are out of college.

Quiksilver junior'sAesthetically, Roxy has more of a beach look while the new Quiksilver junior’s line has more of a coastal feel, Kenna said.

Design Outsourced

In a departure for Quiksilver, the new line is not being designed in house. John Moore of The Pencil on Paper (POP) Studio, who previously created the Hollister concept for Abercrombie & Fitch and was creative director of Modern Amusement, is in charge of the design, Kenna said.

POP Studio will also design QSW for fall 2011.

Quiksilver junior'sKenna said there were are a few reasons for outsourcing the design. Speed to market, they didn’t want to use the already busy Quiksilver Women design staff, and it was more economical.

Summer Rapp, who has been the head of design for both Quiksilver Women and Roxy, will now focus exclusively on Roxy, Kenna said.

Price Points

The new Quiksilver line will not have lots of logos and branding – something the junior’s customer has moved away from.

Quiksilver junior'sIts price points will be below Quiksilver Women, which is priced higher than most industry junior’s brands. The new Quiksilver junior’s line will be priced similarly to most other industry junior’s brands.

Kenna, previously the vice president of marketing for Roxy, has taken on the additional role of sales in her job.

Quiksilver is committed to limiting distribution of the new junior’s to surf specialty accounts for the first year, in addition to Quiksilver stores and Quiksilver.com, Kenna said.

Stores that buy into the line will get fixtures for store floors. In all, Quiksilver is initially targeting 550 accounts, representing 1,200 doors.

Quiksilver junior'sThe spring launch line includes 108 pieces, which consists mostly of sportswear, with some swim and accessories. Dresses are a key category.

The hope is that by giving the junior’s customer something new, “We can give them that reason to go back (into surf shops),” Kenna said.

Room on Retail Floors?

An interesting piece of the puzzle will be how the new line impacts Roxy and Quiksilver Women in surf shops at a time when junior’s sales are suffering and some retailers are dedicating less space to the segment.

Quiksilver junior'sA few key retailers I talked to said while they liked the idea, they would not be adding space on the floor for a new junior’s brand, and would likely make room by reducing the space of either Roxy or Quiksilver Women.

Several surf retailers said Quiksilver Women’s price points have been a bit high for their customers, though the general styles have been well received.

Quiksilver Women is also distributed in the contemporary market, and for that market, its price points are very competitive with other brands.



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