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HomeNEWSThread & Sole finds hole in Kiwi market for kids’ branded clothing

Thread & Sole finds hole in Kiwi market for kids’ branded clothing

Stirling Sports owner Mark Anderson and former marketing manager of Stirling Sports and current CEO of Thread & Sole Kelly Leigh have joined forces to expand into the kids market. Their first store has launched in Sylvia Park and is aimed at tweens, offering a number of international youth brands under one roof.

Leigh says the pair was inspired to start Thread & Sole after noticing a gap in the market for shops offering established international brands for kids and tweens.

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“After working in other large national and international retail chains I witnessed a constant frustration from customers, particularly of the sub-teen market, who almost felt forced to purchase clothing for their kids based on availability rather than having the choice,” Leigh says.

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She says it’s not just kids that miss out on branded gear, but also tweens stuck in the transition between childhood and teenagehood.

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 “We saw a clear space in the market for the sub teens-too, who didn’t want to walk past teddy bears and fairy wands to purchase their chinos and couldn’t necessarily fit into the adult cuts their influencers were purchasing,” Leigh says.
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rnThe shop stocks apparel brands French Connection, Firetrap Ouch, Bardot Junior, Majestic and Ben Sherman.

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Its footwear brands include Converse, Vans and Dr Martens.

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The business plan is ambitious – there are plans to launch five more stores in 2015 and an ecommerce website this week, five to six stores in 2016, and again in 2017.

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“This network will be a combination of both company owned and individually franchised stores offering us brand consistency and also the ability to grow our network reasonably aggressively,” Leigh says.

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Leigh began her career in retail early at age 13 working in floristry and clothing.

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She says her love for retail then grew into a love for visual merchandising, team development and succession and retail operations.

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She previously was a visual merchandiser at Adidas, and then met Anderson during her eight years spent as a marketing manager at Stirling Sports.

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The pair combined their business smarts, visual merchandising and retail operational skills to create Thread & Sole.

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Leigh says the colour palette in store is neutral, letting the visual merchandising and products do the talking.

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The result is a fashionable store for a demographic that has long been overlooked in the past.

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