Carhartt opened its 35th store last month with a location that marks its first Tennessee retail experience debuting in Nashville.
The new store in Music City’s 5th and Broadway shopping district opened on April 28 and comes as Global Industry Analysts Inc. pegs the workwear market’s global value at $42.7 billion by 2026. Carhartt’s expanded shop-in-shop deal with Tractor Supply, a growing rural lifestyle retailer, similarly signals not just the brand’s rising popularity but workwear’s potential as well.
“With skilled trades opportunities on the rise, DIYers rediscovering their passions, and a growing number of people who simply enjoy working with their hands, there is an increased demand for our Carhartt gear,” said Mark Kastner, director of retail store operations at the family-owned company, which has operated a sewing facility 90 minutes from Nashville since 1993. “We look forward to providing products to support our consumers’ lifestyle on and off the job site.”
Owned by Brookfield Properties, the Nashville location occupies approximately 4,000 square feet and will employ 25 staff. Carhartt said the store sells outerwear, boots, sweatshirts, work pants and overalls for men, women and children and will offer its most innovative technologies, including the sweat-wicking Force performance line, Full Swing technology offering full range of motion, Rain Defender durable water-repellent finish, and Rugged Flex technology for optimal mobility.
While Carhartt continues its physical expansion, direct-to-consumer performance workwear brand Truewerk secured a minority investment from Stride Consumer Partners, with Securities and Exchange Commission data listing the capital raise at more than $18 million.
Founded by Brian Ciciora, Truewerk broke onto the scene in 2015 with its advanced softshell work pants called the T2 WerkPant, which it says increases comfort, mobility and performance for workers facing challenging job site conditions.
Truewerk manufactures and markets modern, technical workwear for sectors such as general construction, mechanical trades and utilities.
The brand refers to its product offering as “Workwear as a System,” taking inspiration from elite military and professional mountain guides to engineer garments for everyday working tasks. The company’s base layer, mid layer and shell layer apparel complement each other to provide comfort, durability and enhanced mobility.
With growth tripling year over year, Truewerk plans to amplify brand awareness, continue building its owned e-commerce platform, and expand its uniform service offering while continuing to develop innovative fabrics and styles.
“We’re excited to have Stride join the Truewerk team. Their experience and passion for innovative consumer brands make them a perfect fit for what we’re doing at Truewerk,” said Ciciora, founder and CEO of Truewerk. “Everyone wants to build a brand with great products, but we want to go beyond just making the highest performance workwear on the market and elevate the lives and work of the men and women who wear our gear every day—on and off the job.”
Stride joins Truwerk’s existing investors and advisors including Roundhouse Collective, a private equity group which includes former Nordstrom co-president Dan Nordstrom, co-founder Greg Hanson, and outdoor industry executive Steve Meineke; as well as RZC Investments, an Arkansas-based private equity firm led by Walmart founding family members Steuart Walton and Tom Walton.
The news from Truewerk comes just months after work boot and apparel brand Brunt Workwear closed a $20 million Series B round to serve the more than 17 million workers in the construction, installation, maintenance and repair industries in the U.S. Chris Carey, a partner at Stripes, the private equity firm that contributed to Brunt’s raise, said that despite On and Nike launching “dozens” of new performance running shoes, “construction and trade workers are still stuck with the same legacy shoe styles.”