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Thursday, June 3, 2010

Hat Company In Stockton get's the Stetson Brand


By Reed Fujii
Record Staff Writer
April 24, 2010 12:01 AM
STOCKTON - Someone might stick a feather in his cap and call it macaroni, but Douglas Highsmith, president and chief executive of Dorfman-Pacific, would rather call it Stetson.

The Stockton-based headwear company has landed rights to produce and sell Stetson-brand hats - limited to cloth dress, outdoor and golf styles for men, as well as unisex and children's headwear - in North America. And it will produce a full range of styles - all fabrics and both dress and Western hats - for sale in Japan, Asia, Australia, New Zealand and Latin America.

"It's an American heritage, iconic brand," Highsmith said Friday at his office.

Dorfman-Pacific plans to introduce a new line of hats under the Stetson brand in August.

In the past year, the company also has added brands such as Tommy Bahama, Woolrich and Panama Jack to its core brands, which include Scala, Callanan and Christys' London.

Because of the strength of the name, however, Highsmith expects Stetson to become one of his company's largest selling brands within three years.

Molly Robbins, a brand licensing consultant and owner of LicenZing LLC in San Rafael, said Dorfman-Pacific made a real coup in landing the Stetson brand.

"If one were to think about what brands come to mind when you think about hats, Stetson would probably comer to mind for most people," she said.

Of course, most people also associate Stetson most closely with Western-style hats. Robbins said the challenge for Dorfman will be whether that brand power can translate to dress and casual cloth hats for the North American market.

Highsmith believes it will. Stetson will help his company expand its price range and appeal to more exclusive retailers as well.

"It's a new price point for us; a higher price point for us," Highsmith said.

He expects his Stetson hats to retail at $36 to $300, averaging close to $100.

"The target market on this is Nordstrom's up," he said.

Highsmith also expects international sales to be strong for the brand, especially in large cities in Japan and China.

"They love American iconic brands."

Dorfman Pacific employs about 175 permanent employees at its 287,000-square-foot headquarters and distribution facility near Stockton Metropolitan Airport.

Contact reporter Reed Fujii at (209) 546-8253 or rfujii@recordnet.com.

1 comment:

Hat Hunter said...

Good things are happening in Stockton, CA.

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