Guess plans global push

Guess, the watch and clothing brand, is planning a global expansion as part of a strategy to take the brand upmarket and boost its profile across the UK and Europe.

The strategy includes building on its reputation in the clothing and accessories market and the launch of a new jewellery collection, following a successful trial last year. It will also open nine new stores across the world over the next year.

The brand says it is planning “significant advertising spend” to support its plans, but is yet to finalise a budget.

The Guess brand is licensed to the Timex Group, which has signed a 15-year deal with the brand, and has set-up a separate company, Sequel, which will focus on its development.

Sequel is based in Switzerland but will have a European head office in the UK. Alan Stone-Wigg, former managing director of Fossil Group, will be managing director of the European office.

Stone-Wigg says he is currently seeking a UK marketing team, which will report to him. He adds that the brand will focus on new media but there will be a global brand message that will include above-the-line work.

He says: “We are looking at new ways to communicate with our target markets via blogs, mobile advertising and third-generation technology. We will move above and beyond traditional above-the-line advertising.”

Guess will target 16to 24-year-olds, while its upmarket extension Guess Collection will target 24to 45-year-olds.

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