Rodd & Gunn open flagship New York showroom

Rodd & Gunn was founded in New Zealand in 1946.

Rodd & Gunn was founded in New Zealand in 1946.

New Zealand-owned menswear retailer Rodd & Gunn is stepping up its global expansion plans with a flagship showroom in New York.

Next month the fashion label opens its first United States store, which will sit within the 2400 square metre floorspace of the Trunk Club showroom on Madison Avenue.

That marks a major diversion from its current strategy of selling through wholesalers, with product stocked across 44 states through a network of 221 retailers.

Managing director Mike Beagley, who joined the company in 2000 and bought it out in 2006, said it was a "dream come true" on a personal level.

"New York sets the bar in retail trends and it's pretty exciting to be welcomed into that scene."

Beagley said the US was the most competitive market in the world, but an important stepping stone.

"We've been looking to enter other markets like the Middle East and the first thing every potential partner asks is if we're in the US, and how we're doing there."

The Trunk Club's vice-president of merchandising, Jason Smith, said Rodd & Gunn had been one of the showroom's most popular labels since it launched in the US two years ago.

"I'd liken it to what Ralph Lauren or even Billy Reid represents here in the US," he said. "It embodies this idea of updated traditional that performs really well for our members."

Rodd & Gunn was founded in New Zealand in 1946.

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Two decades ago it expanded to Australia, which now accounts for 70 per cent of its $80 million annual turnover.

 - The Dominion Post

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