After several disappointments, the European license for Body Glove has been picked up by Pro Sports Club, a fast-moving Dutch sports retailer and supplier. The company obtained a European license for apparel, footwear and textile-related accessories bearing the Californian surf brand earlier this year, and it has started to build up sales and marketing activities for the line, starting with the southern part of the continent.
Pro Club Sports has a retail arm that consists mainly of a specialist web store, Plutosport.com. It is run by the company’s main owner, Geert Gruppen, along with the company’s wholesale business. A second shareholder, Monique Broere, deals more closely with the company’s own leisure apparel and footwear brand, Highroad, which is sold across Southern and Eastern Europe.
Body Glove, a brand that is well known internationally for its wetsuits, previously had a European apparel license with Meeting, an Italian company that is now investing heavily on its new fitness apparel brand, Deha. Pro Club Sports intends to set up an entirely new distribution network and to re-launch the Body Glove brand as a leisure-oriented label. It should benefit from technical innovations like Vapor, a new material for swimwear and board shorts which is meant to be water-repellent.
The license for Body Glove wetsuits remains in the hands of Sola, but Pro Club Sports is striving to work closely together with this British company. Pro Club Sports will develop Body Glove products from its office in the central Dutch small town of Alphen aan de Rijn, where it employs about 60 people. Production will be steered through a sourcing office in Hong Kong which currently takes care of Highroad.