Joachim Beer has joined the German sportswear maker Brax as managing director and CEO of international sales. He will be based at the company’s Herford headquarters in northeastern Germany. Beer is responsible for all licensed activity and all retail outside of Brax’s owned stores. His goal is to develop the brand in North America and Asia.
Beer was most recently president of global fashion and retail for Victorinox Swiss Army, based in New York. Prior to that he spent nine years at Hugo Boss, the last as its U.S. president.
Brax, which celebrated its 125th anniversary last year, started as a trouser company and added tops in 2003. The assortment is half menswear and half women’s wear. Its eponymous brand accounts for 80 percent of its business, with Brax Golf and its men’s big & tall and women’s plus-size collections making up the balance.
“By the end of this year we’ll probably turn around more than 9.6 to 9.8 million pieces, which is substantial,” says Beer. “Thirty percent of our business is outside of Germany, mostly Europe, China and Canada. Three seasons ago we changed our Canadian distributor to Throat Threads. Having a foot in North America, starting with Canada, I think it’s a good opportunity.
Brax is in 200 doors in Canada (mostly with its menswear), including Harry Rosen.
“The company is very strong in operations and logistics,” Beer continues. “We deliver six times a year and we have a very interesting and well-functioning in-stock program. We have more than 1,500 shop-in-shops in European department stores and 104 of our own stores, and we’re looking to expand that. Forty-six of our own stores are in China, so we have a large stake there already.
In the European market, pants retail for €89 to €129 ($118 to $171); knit tops for €49 to €89 ($65 to $118) and outerwear ranges from €149 to €249 ($200 to $330). Below are some looks from Brax’s summer 2014 collection.