MONTREAL – Esprit is set to return to the Canadian retail market.
The international fashion brand is teaming up with Montreal-based distributor Freemark Apparel Brands (FAB Inc.) to open stand-alone stores in Canada next spring.
The exact locations have yet to be announced.
In September 2011, Esprit announced that it planned a major overhaul, including exiting its money-losing U.S. and Canadian operations in favour of concentrating on its business in Asia and Europe.
The company was founded in San Francisco in 1968 by Douglas Tompkins — who died Tuesday in a kayaking accident in Chile — and his wife Susie, who sold their first line of clothes out of the back of a station wagon.
Its range of women’s and teen clothes gained popularity in the 1980s. The casual fashion label also makes clothes for babies, children and men.
Headquartered in Germany and Hong Kong, Esprit is carried in more than 40 countries with 900 retail stores and 7,500 wholesale points of sales including franchise stores and sales spaces in department stores.
The company markets its products under the Esprit and edc brands.
“With the North American continent being the birthplace of our brand, we are convinced that we can revive the Canadian consumer’s strong relationship with Esprit as it has been missed in the market place for several years,” Dieter Messner, Esprit’s general manager for Europe, Americas & Middle East, said in a statement.
“We are convinced that with our exclusive distribution partner FAB Inc. we have found the perfect way to enhance the Esprit brand experience in the most promising way throughout Canada.”