A WELL-known Cornish brand is set to open up the first of up to four stores in the US as part of its international expansion plans. 

Cornish Brand, Seasalt is supporting its global commitment to bricks and mortar as part of ambitious growth plans that will see it open up to four stores in the US in 2024.

The first store will be located in the New England area with the brand’s current focus on the North-east region of North America - and in particular the Eastern Seaboard. The US stores will be wholly operated by Seasalt.

The plans come not long after the brand announced it would be continuing its partnership with New Zealand-based Ballantynes, with Ballantynes becoming the exclusive distributor for Seasalt across the country and opening a number of Seasalt branded stores. 

Paul Hayes, CEO, Seasalt says: "Today marks a milestone moment for Seasalt as we announce our intention to open our first Seasalt stores in North America. We have set our sights firmly on the US market with up to 20 stores planned to open over the next 3 years.

"Our US market entry strategy has been in development for some time now and we have established a strong foundation in the country through our partnership with Belk as a springboard to accelerate our expansion. 

"Our unique Seasalt offering will bring something new and exciting to customers in America and we’re confident that our reputation for exceptional customer service, together with the inherent creativity and quality of our product, sets us up for success."

Seasalt has already built a sizeable customer community in the US organically through its online offering and the brand has also been well received since being made available in 2022 via its online partnership with US retailer Belk.

This has been further driven by US social media influencer activity to build brand profile and awareness in the country. Belk will continue to sell the brand through its online channels, and will launch it in a number of key bricks and mortar stores next year. A dedicated Seasalt US website will be launched in the summer of 2024.

US expansion will be led by Jason McNary who joins the team as Consulting Director (North America), reporting into CEO Paul Hayes. With extensive experience in the fashion sector, McNary is a proven leader and is well-known for his deep expertise in DTC brands and the ability to build brands globally. 

Jason was most recently Chief Executive Officer of UNOde50, the Spanish jewellery design brand and was previously President at French Fashion Designer Agnés B. Jason is an experienced non-executive director, having worked on a number of boards, including Faherty Brand, Spring Place and Brag. McNary will be based in New York.

McNary says: "There’s a great deal of work ahead of us but the response from US customers so far has been incredibly positive.  Having a physical presence – hubs from where the Seasalt brand can grow - is really important.  We’re excited for this next stage of growth."

Seasalt has grown rapidly over the past ten years and has opened seven new stores across the UK, Ireland and New Zealand in the past 12 months alone. It now has 73 stores, including Kenmare, Ireland, due to open in November. The UK will remain a primary focus and the brand expects store opening growth to continue on the same, if not greater, trajectory in 2024.

Looking ahead, Seasalt intends to accelerate the pace of international expansion and has partnered with Rarely Heard Voices who have extensive experience in bringing brands and operators together. The immediate focus is North America and Europe where they will work to identify and establish the right partnerships to drive the online, department store and franchise Seasalt store business.

Hayes continues: “Rarely Heard Voices has created a community that brings renewed energy to business conversations on a global level. Their attention to detail is unrivalled, with a constant eye on ensuring we build on the brand experience we’ve carefully developed over the years.

"We are looking forward to working with them more closely to stimulate new introductions that help us realise our international ambitions.”