Luxury clothing brand Kit and Ace is prepping for global expansion, just 10 months after the retail start-up first launched. The Canadian retailer, co-founded by Shannon and JJ Wilson, the wife and son of Lululemon's (NASDAQ:LULU) founder Chip Wilson, plans to open 30 to 50 stores by the end of 2015 in locations such as London, Australia and Japan.
The expansion plan will also involve eight U.S. cities, with June launches in Columbus, Ohio, Cincinnati, Denver, Minneapolis, San Francisco and St. Louis, followed by San Jose, California, and Washington, D.C., reported Women's Wear Daily.
The apparel stores will range in size from just 760 sq. ft. in Detroit to 2,500 sq. ft. in San Francisco.
"Every location will look different," creative director Shannon Wilson told Women's Wear Daily. "Some will be T-shirt shops or studios. Others will carry a fuller range of merchandise, like our Vancouver flagship which opens in August. But each store will reflect its local culture and Kit and Ace's philosophy, which is to design high-performance luxury wear that elevates busy peoples' lives."
Currently the brand operates seven stores, and new stores were originally slated for 2016. The accelerated speed of expansion is thought to be linked to Chip Wilson's availability to jump in and help the growing business since he departed from Lululemon's board in February.
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