Protest Boardwear expanding, sets up UK subsiduary

Design-led boardwear brand Protest has set up a UK-based subsidiary to capitalise on its growing momentum worldwide and to mirror its huge success in Europe.

The Holland-based company has announced the team to take the brand forward in the UK. This includes Paul Wilkinson recruited as country manager, who has 11 years industry experience and held the position of sales and marketing director at O’Neill in the UK.

John Tyson, previously in charge of key accounts and driving product development at O’Neill, also joins the team. Both were instrumental in driving the success of this brand during the last seven years. Protest already distributes across 41 countries worldwide with 75pc of its turnover made outside the Netherlands. Now, with the UK market at its feet, the company intends to attack the boardwear market with a three-strand approach.

This involves a focus on marketing communications and in-store support/branding and a concentration on providing an excellent price/value ratio with UK-specific collections.

It also has a commitment to dedicated UK sales support and boasts an already established logistic operation in Holland, which has a 95pc on time delivery rate across the subsidiary countries. Mr Wilkinson, country manager for the UK, says Protest understands what is needed by the marketplace and no other brand will do more or try harder.

“We are delighted to announce Protest’s plans for the UK and are very excited about capitalising on the team’s expertise and establishing ourselves as a serious competitor in the UK boardwear market,” said Mr Wilkinson.

“Protest will introduce UK-specific products at sensible price points to give an excellent price/value relationship for the UK market. Flexibility is also a key function of the business with special make-up minimums typically around 300 pieces, which provides a good opportunity to develop specific products for key retailers. Our in-store support will also be better than any other brand as we aim to get the basics right for our account base.

“We plan to support our launch in Spring/Summer 2010 with strategic marketing and we will appoint a highly experienced industry PR company, engage in a media campaign and carry out core activity.

“No other brand is going to work harder to deliver what is needed. We have chosen exactly the right people with the wealth of experience to create the perfect infrastructure for Protest to replicate its European success in the UK.”

John Tyson, formerly key account manager for O’Neill, has the role of national account manager and is already building relationships with key distributors across the UK.

Also joining the team is Laura McCormick and Demelza Warner, both of which also previously worked with the O’Neill brand – they join as area sales managers for the South East and South West Wales respectively. Sharon Galsworthy, formerly of O’Neill and Nike, will provide a full customer support service in the UK.

Protest will be announcing details of its first UK collection with this newly established team for Spring/Summer 10 in the coming weeks.

For Sales Enquiries please call:

South West/Wales – Demelza Warner: 07799 845656
Midlands/South East/London – Laura Mccormick: 07977 144019
National Accounts/North – John Tyson – 07590 848545
UK Head Office: 0191 215 5024


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