Protest maintains fitness ambitions
Protest is unwavering. Launched for autumn-winter 2014-15, the Dutch brand’s fitness line for woman has seen mixed results.
But the brand intends to further expand its Protest Fit range in the coming seasons. "We’ve had a very good response from the media,” said Jean Cougny, country manager for the brand in France. “We’re more about the look than the purely technical aspects. And retailers like to play it safe. They want the brand to put these products out over several seasons."
For fall-winter 2015-2016, Protest is therefore preparing a range that incorporates lightweight down jackets, windbreakers and a full range of sports bras and leggings.
These additions appear necessary to allow the brand to withstand seasons plagued by unpredictable weather. Last year, the brand saw its sales fall in France, confined to 4 million euros, as compared with 4.5 in 2013.
"In 2014, we had two very different retail seasons," said Cougny. "For winter, we depend more on the weather and we take the brunt when retailers find themselves overstocked. On the other hand, things went very well over the summer, especially with the female beachwear and mix & match collections. We had never had the means before to attend beachwear trade shows like Riviera in Cannes, and it went very well."
The brand now has six sales agents in France, including an agent picked up in Paris one year ago, and works with Gipsy Collective. It is also putting in place its new corner format at partner retailers. In total, it is present in 200 multibrand stores.
As for trade shows, Protest has hid 2015 the ground running. The brand presented its range at Asap in Annecy on January 19-20 and will be present at ISPO in Munich in early February.
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