Quarterly Update Note
An open letter from Castore co-founders Tom & Phil Beahon
As the Castore brand continues to expand internationally, we are incredibly excited about what the future holds. With the start of 2019 proving more eventful than ever we thought it would be an opportune time to start putting our thoughts down on paper and giving customers an insight into our thinking and plans for the future.
To provide some structure to this thoughts we will focus on three key areas from the last quarter and three from the upcoming quarter. We hope you find insightful.
A new tennis season started at the Australia Open in January and marked a special occasion for Castore with British tennis legend Andy Murray choosing to wear our kit for the tournament. To have the quality of our garments validated by such an athlete, and someone who is so renowned for demanding the very best from every single component that contributes to his performance, is an honour and something we are incredibly proud of. As all of our long-time customers know, we invest signifiant energy in creating products that truly are superior to anything else in the market and when elite athletes trust us in this way, we know we are doing something very right.
In the first three months of 2019 we have doubled down on our investment in R&D as we look to create products that are lighter, faster and more innovative than ever before. In Feb we launched the Flyweight collection which featured a specialist V9 mesh that is lighter than anything we have created before with percolated tourbillon matted constructed. Wind tunnels were utilised extensively during the 18 month testing process and feedback so far has been that the garments deliver outstanding comfort and performance - testament to the hard work and talent of our incredibly product development team. Product remains the absolute core of why Castore exists and the future will only get more exciting as we continue to push the boundaries of engineering and performance.
Whilst the Castore brand continues to grow strongly across all regions where we have a presence, the most rapid growth has been across Asia with Singapore, South Korea, Hong Kong and Japan being the main drivers. This growth has come entirely organically as Catsore brand awareness gradually increases in the region where customers really appreciate our commitment to product excellence, attention to detail and drive for innovation. If we include China, where we are having a number of very interesting conversations with potential partners, Asia offers a huge opportunity for Castore are we will continue to build our presence in the region through a our own digital platform and retail partnerships.
Looking forward to Q2-2019
Product portfolio expansion
As Castore continues to grow and the brand expands its reach to a broader audience, we will evolve the product collection beyond pure training apparel into sports specific areas, starting with Golf and then launching Castore Tennis in Jun-2019. Our vision for Castore has always been to build a premium British sportswear brand that covers a range of individual and team sports and these are the first steps along this journey. In May, we will also launch our first collection at a starting price-point of £50. Our aim is to respond to feedback we have received for a number of months from people who love the brand but cannot afford our current prices - implemented correctly, this strategy will make Castore more accessible to a wider range of customers without compromising our belief in exceptional quality. Successful delivery of this will not easy but we are very excited about the challenge.
As a company we are now going through the process of building a team capable of delivering our ambitious growth plans. To achieve excellence in any endeavour can never be done alone and requires a group of talented, driven and ambitious individuals working towards clear targets and always putting the needs of the team above everything else. These characteristics are particularly true when looking to deliver consistent excellence over a sustained period which is exactly what we want to do at Castore. Q2-2019 will see an acceleration of our hiring as we bring on board talented individuals who share our vision of creating a British sportswear brand with global recognition, and who have the abilities required to help us achieve our goals.
More elite athletes wearing Castore
Following Andy Murray and the other young athletes we already support, we will look to build out our ‘portfolio' of elite athletes who wear Castore kit for both training and competition. These partnerships will align with our strategy of expanding the product range into specific sports in the next 12m starting with golf and tennis where we are already engaged with a number of exciting prospects and look forward to unveiling our latest athlete partnerships very soon. There is no better proof of a brand’s quality than those who’s careers rely on performance trusting your kit - cultivated intelligently, building partnerships with the right athletes will be a key component of the long term success of Castore.