Josh McDonnell speaks with Tony Bianco director Tony Bianco about the brand's continued success and impending expansion into the US.
Where did the international expansion begin?
It all started around 18 months ago when we got in touch with Nordstrom and we are on Nordstrom online only at the moment. Actually, it started with Revolve in the US prior to that. And then Nordstrom got in touch with us after we launched online with Revolve.
It's just grown from there and it's been fantastic in the states.
Where are the key locations?
Definitely more US. We've set up a warehouse in the US. We've got a 3PL, we're shipping from the US, so we are really just focused on there for the moment. We are just about to launch on Amazon as well.
We've seen such growth on our Instagram from the US, I think of the 400,000 followers that we have got, I think 35% of them are from there.
What are the main states the brand is focused on?
Definitely two cities, LA number one and NYC number two. We've just appointed a USA agent to wholesale the brand as well.
Funnily enough, we were asked to do a pop-up store in Century City in Westfield in January. They've got about 11 brands that they showcase in the pop-up store for about a month and really push the whole Australian flavour.
What's the level of sales US?
Online weekly it's grown from around, well it's doubled from last year and, as a weekly percentage, it's probably running around 15%.
How many units do you annually wholesale to the US?
It's annually up around, 20,000 – 25,000 pairs going to the US.
What's in store back home?
I think when everyone was opening stores five years ago, we didn't do it. We just felt it probably wasn't the right thing to do. Bricks-and-mortar is getting harder and harder, so we've really focused online.
Our online business has grown very strongly locally and that's where we have put a lot of effort.
Our digital team has gone from zero to now six or seven people.
Is online outperforming bricks-and-mortar?
Not yet but it's grown from a small percentage of around 10% to close to around 30%.
Over what period of time?
Two years. We didn't think it would grow that quickly but the investment we've put into it, the people we've put into it and from the social side to the digital side to the logistical side. It is definitely where we see the future, compared to bricks-and-mortar.