Cath Kidston has poached Under Armour’s head of international franchising Michael Engelhaupt to lead the British retailer’s expansion into Latin America.
According to The Times, Cath Kidston chief executive Kenny Wilson wanted to focus on Mexico and Chile first, by opening stand-alone stores and concessions, before expanding across the region, including to Brazil.
Engelhaupt will be based in Panama City and will work with potential franchise partners, as he did with Under Armour, the American sports clothing and accessories group known for t-shirts worn under the padding of most NFL players.
“I have worked in retail my entire career and I have been based in Panama since 2008,” he said.
“Having someone on the ground with the relationships and contacts is so important to making entry into a new market a success.
“This is a big project and I am delighted to be starting work.”
Wilson told The Times that one of the reasons why they decided to expand to the region was because “web sales from customers in Latin America show that people are already buying our products”.
Cath Kidston already has a presence in Japan and the Middle East – with more store openings in the pipeline, and earlier this year they expanded to India for the first time.
While its online market in the US is retailer’s largest outside the UK, it does not have any stores or concessions there.