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Scotch & Soda’s Tmall Launch Powers Major Global Expansion

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Scotch & Soda’s global expansion is kicking into high gear.

On Monday, the Amsterdam apparel brand revealed plans to grow its worldwide footprint with nearly two dozen new directly operated and franchise store locations before the end of the year across Europe, Asia-Pacific, North America and the Middle East. The company, which has already opened 34 brick-and-mortar stores and 27 shop-in-shops since January, will debut 15 of the former and seven of the latter by the close of December. The openings will bring Scotch & Soda’s physical presence to 249 stores and 280 shop-in-shops before 2022.

The brand also has bold ambitions for China, the 1.4-billion-strong consumer market where labels including Wrangler and Frame have also tried their hand at Tmall partnerships in the past year. Following an August soft launch, Scotch & Soda opened its first official digital store on the Alibaba-owned platform where 700 million consumers shop each year. It also recently joined popular Chinese social media platforms including Weibo, Little Red Book, WeChat and Douyin. Though it has only directly operated in China since July, Scotch & Soda has plans to stand up brick-and-mortar stores in the country’s key cities.

Scotch & Soda CEO Frederick Lukoff said the expansion marks a “very exciting time for our company despite the challenges caused by the Covid-19 pandemic in the retail industry.”

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“We are pursuing the expansion of our retail network at a global level, strengthening our footprint in markets where we are already present, as well as entering key markets such as China, that we see as full of potential to reach new customers and introduce them to our brand,” he added.

Global urban centers including Paris, Madrid, Gothenburg, Riyadh, Mumbai, Bucharest, Dortmund, Stuttgart and Perth will soon host new Scotch & Soda stores. In the U.S., the company will open locations in the Philadelphia-area King of Prussia shopping mall and Charlotte’s SouthPark Mall in North Carolina later this month.

The new stores will showcase Scotch & Soda’s updated logo in which the ampersand symbol references a unity-inspired needle-and-thread motif. The physical spaces will also incorporate the brand’s “Free Spirit” concept calling for interior design centering on a warm palette and streamlined visual elements. Eco-friendly LED lighting, FSC-certified wood herringbone flooring and hangers made from recycled materials underscore the brand’s sustainability efforts. Solar panels and irrigated vertical gardens will feature on the roof of a new 27,500-square-meter Amsterdam warehouse.

Scotch & Soda’s expansion roadmap extends beyond geography to additional category and style launches timed to the holiday and spring seasons. New home items, gift sets and travel size goods will augment the Dutch label’s Barfly fragrance line. A faux leather reporter bag, cross-body bag, and a recycled nylon tote bag, offered in six colorways, are exclusively available at Scotch & Soda’s owned and franchise stores for their inaugural season.

Earlier this year, the brand laid the groundwork for its brick-and-mortar build-out, partnering with Nedap to equip its stores with the tech provider’s !D Cloud inventory management platform. At the time, Rik Kok, procurement director for Scotch & Soda, described the RFID deployment as a critical component of operating an omnichannel business.

“A single view on stock is crucial for a successful omnichannel strategy,” Kok said in February of the store and distribution center rollout. “It allows us to increase our online sellable stock, as we do not necessarily need to ship from our distribution centers anymore.”