There is a very common expression that goes like ‘sharing is caring’, and this is exactly what Wrangler expects with its newest European campaign “Born Ready”, which has a strong focus on social media –especially on Facebook, where the brand’s fellas are apparently more active- and which aims at creating an active online community of users that exchange tips on adventure activities and also buy some apparel along the way. For Wrangler, such an integrated campaign where all channels –advertising, PR-action and the like- come together and a harmonized brand’s identity is communicated to various markets in the same way is something new. However, the campaign launch and store opening in Berlin last week, in Alte Schönhauser 32a, appear to be isolated news. Except for two stores that were recently opened in Saint Petersburg and Moscow, there isn’t any plan conceived for the retail business development –at least, one that’s being communicated to the press-, but only the goodwill to further assemble it. “Yes, we want to invest in retail and we have a plan. But at the same time I want to make sure that our retail format and product offer works,” explained us international brand president Rino Castiglione at the event. The retail format that Castiglione is talking about is the new store identity that Wrangler presents in Berlin: it says bye to the Americana-factory look with untreated wooden planks to embrace a cleaner and more minimalistic design concept that focuses the product. “This is a test; we’re working to finalize exactly the final concept,” continues Castiglione. Profitability of the new store will also influence the expansion of this concept to other retail locations.

The new store identity and the Born Ready campaign should help the brand to engage a slightly younger consumer than Wrangler’s fan base –men and women from 30-years onwards. “We want to engage a new modern fashion-minded consumer. “Neither the fashion victim nor the trendsetter, but somebody that wants to wear a bit classier,” in words of Castiglione.

Womenswear, which accounts for 20% of Wrangler’s business in Europe, has been difficult to manage, with unsuccessful launches like the Denim Spa range in 2013, which were moisturizing jeans enriched with aloe vera and were taken off the market last fall/winter season. "We made some mistakes in the past," said Castiglione in this regard. According to Ilaria Pasquinelli, senior consumer marketing manager EMEA, the brand’s online shop has demonstrated the team that women are actually interested in the same products as male consumers: the Wrangler jeans with water-repellant fibers –Rain Ready- and the Cold Ready range that keeps you warm in cold temperatures. So now there’s only one common strategy for both genders in contrast to the past. Pasquinelli also expects the business for women to grow, especially in own retail: “When we have the possibility to showcase our products like here (Berlin flagship), it’s much bigger (the rate of female sales) than what it is in wholesale,” she explains.

In terms of design, the denim brand belonging to VF Corporation is playing it safe –the water-repellant and warm-keeper innovations and the message behind them of blending fashion and function have been already implemented in older collections. In spite of Wrangler’s decreasing revenues in Europe, as highlighted at VF’s report for the second quarter of 2015, Castiglione is optimistic that the market situation will change in 2016.