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Alexandre Scott RETAIL Cole Haan makes European debut Start Reading

Slide Upscale footwear label Cole Haan is starting operations in Europe for the first time this week with a launch in Germany ahead of a rollout in other parts of the continent later this year. It’s working with Denmark’s Norgroup Retail as its exclusive partner for the move. The US-based brand is currently available in over 65 markets and Norgroup general manager Peter Castella said it has “tremendous expansion plans in Europe. The unique blend of innovation, style, and performance that Cole Haan has offered for almost a century will meet the high expectations of our German clients. We feel this is just a beginning of a successful journey ahead”.

The German launch takes the form of a new dedicated website and will be followed by launches in DACH, Northern, and Eastern Europe through 2021.

The company hasn’t released the timetable for these launches Austria, Switzerland, Sweden, Denmark and Finland are next on the priority list.

The brand is already available in Britain via Cole Haan UK Ltd and sells in Harrods, Selfridges, Kurt Keiger, John Lewis and Liberty.

The debut of Cole Haan in Germany coincides with the global launch of ØriginalGrand Energy Oxfords for both men and women. These classic oxford pieces are made in leather and nubuck uppers and designed with a moisture-wicking Ortholite footbed and GRANDFOØAM technology. This creates “a breakthrough cushioning system that promotes shock attenuation, energy return and responsive cushioning”.

Prices in Europe will range from €130 to €220 for men’s and women’s product.

Earlier this year, Cole Haan had cancelled plans for an IPO, which is perhaps understandable given the uncertainty created by the pandemic. It had postponed the plan earlier in 2020 when the pandemic first hit. But the Covid crisis clearly hasn’t derailed its other plans.

As well as the Europe debut, in December it opened a new Grandshop — the concept shop model dedicated to its Zerogrand line — on Cat Street in Harajuku, Tokyo. And in November it linked with comedian and writer Hasan Minhaj to design a limited-edition collection of men's hiker and sneaker styles.

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