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Stance prepares for European debut, more news

Stance President John Wilson
Stance President John Wilson and CEO Jeff Kearl.
By Tiffany Montgomery
August 18, 2011 7:11 AM

Now that Stance socks are in stores, I thought it would be a good time to check in with President John Wilson to get an update on the young brand.


John told me at Agenda that it’s been exciting to see consumers respond to the product.


Getting the concept together and getting good sell-in at retailers was great, “but ringing the register is the most important thing,” he said.


Bryan Wilson StanceStance's Bryan Wilson showing the line at Agenda

Stance has experienced a reorder business as well, which is “very encouraging,” John said, especially since Stance has not been in the market for a full year yet.


Another question that has been put to rest is the seasonality issue. When Stance started, they weren’t sure how much demand there would be for socks in spring and summer.


Turns out that demand is just fine in warmer months, including for Stance’s low-cut sock offering.


“It’s a 12-month business, and we feel we got that validation in our first spring and summer,” John said.


International play

John has been spending a lot of time in Europe.


Stance socksThe Stance concept is translating well there, where there is also a void in the market for stylish socks. Filling that void means adding incremental dollars to retailers’ sales, which makes store owners receptive to the idea of a new category.


In November, the first Stance product will come to market in Europe, John said.


Stance has performed a joint venture, Stance Europe, and will go direct in Germany, France and the UK. The partnership is with Peter Caldwell, who helped build Reef, O’Neill, Firewire and others in Europe.


Stance is also targeting Sweden, Switzerland, Finland, Norway, Italy and Spain through distributors.


It will launch in Canada in spring of next year, and in Japan this November.


Domestic scene

Stance socksDomestically, Stance continues to expand its initial foundation of accounts from its Fall 2010 launch, to include more surf, skate and snow accounts, in addition to adding streetwear accounts and fashion boutiques such as Fred Segal and American Rag.


John is also pleased that the company’s accounts are geographically dispersed as well.


The future

I definitely get the impression that more is brewing at Stance from both John and CEO Jeff Kearl, but they weren’t quite ready to talk details yet.


I’ll let you know when they are.






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