Having launched in South Africa over 20 years ago, Vans has a strong history in the country with 11 retail stores in three major urban centres, an online store, and distribution within multiple doors in key sport and lifestyle partners across the country.
According to Lucio Simonazzi, Vans director of sales for Central East Europe and distributors, the new partnership is a move that aligns with the brand's future global strategy of elevation, segmentation, and omni-operations.
Ares Holdings was formed in Cape Town in 2015 and owns the distribution rights to Under Armour, Crocs, Birkenstock and 2XU. With a multi-channel focus, the group owns and manages 45 brick and mortar stores, four online stores and partners with key retailers within the sports and lifestyle category to distribute the brands and products to all parts of Southern Africa.
Founder and CEO Gareth Kemp believes the success of Ares Holdings is largely attributed to three main factors: “We have a very good understanding of the South African landscape and its consumer, a deep appreciation of the importance of being brand-led, and a strong experienced team with a proven track record.”
Kemp shared his optimism for the future of Vans within the group, “There is clear alignment between the global vision for the business and the capabilities of the Ares business. We look forward to rolling this out from 2024.”
Simonazzi further elaborated, "As we look to drive brand love, brand loyalty and ultimately brand demand, we are excited to partner with Ares Holdings as our partner for the South African marketplace. It will be through our partnership that we will be able to further connect with new and existing consumers and deepen those relationships while providing them with a variety of product offerings and brand experiences."