Castore targets US expansion despite current challenges
Castore co-founder Tom Beahon said the company is ramping up its expansion drive despite the current tough economic backdrop. He said a “very strong core brand and value proposition… can be successful no matter what the external challenges are”.
In an interview with BusinessLive, he highlighted the firm’s targeting of the giant US market and said Castore ambassador Matt Fitzpatrick's US Open win will help “supercharge” its US ambitions.
The recent signing and his win resulted in the brand getting massive global exposure.
Beahon said: “We get live updates of how our websites are performing and we've seen a significant increase in traffic, even in the 12 hours since Matt won.
“[It’s] great for us as we look to not only expand into the Middle East and Asia but also into the US where golf is incredibly popular. That performance gives you the kind of brand equity that money can't buy.
“If you look at any of the major sportswear brands in our market, they all have partnerships with world-class athletes who win the biggest tournaments on the biggest stages. It's very difficult for anyone to break into that small global elite, but Castore is making a real challenge.
Beahon also told BusinessLive that the firm is enjoying a “strong year” even though the economy is tough and that “when there are external challenges, we always see that as an opportunity as we think that other brands will be a bit more pessimistic and more risk-averse. We see it as a chance to really double down on our growth investments and our ability to be more agile and flexible than our competitors.
“We've had a fantastic first six months of the year. As we look ahead, there will be more challenges and the economic outlook will get worse before it gets better, but that does not mean that brands that have a great product can't continue to be successful.”
And he stressed that tough times can bring benefits as “competition is not as strong. In more prosperous times there might be 10 or 15 brands trying to grow, but now there are far fewer.”
As for international growth, the company plans to open a US office by year-end and will launch a localised US website, as well as dedicating more investment cash to partnerships and marketing in America.
Beahon also said the firm is open to external investment within the next six months and that he and co-founder Phil Beahon (his brother) are still undecided about whether they might list the company on the stock exchange.
Backers currently include tennis star Andy Murray and the Asda-owning Issa brothers. But more cash might be needed to fulfil the growth ambitions the company has.
Because the business is profitable and cash generative, Beahon explained that it has the luxury of being able to pick and choose when and where it raises capital. It expects to do something by the end of the year, although it's not rushing as it wants to get it right. And he didn't rule out the idea of a public listing.
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