Retailer Roots plans to open two new stores in Washington, D.C., area

TORONTO _ Clothing retailer Roots Corp. will open two new stores in the Washington, D.C., area in August as part of its U.S. and international expansion plans.

“We believe the U.S. represents a minimum 100-store market opportunity for us,” said CEO Jim Gabel in a statement announcing the more than 270-square-metre (or more than 3,000-square-foot) shops.

One store will be in Washington’s Georgetown neighbourhood, while the other location will be in Pentagon City, a mall in Arlington, Va.

The company announced in March it would also open two locations in the Greater Boston, Mass. area this summer.

The four stores are part of the company’s target to open 10 to 14 new locations in America by the end of next year.

Roots operated 119 stores as of February 3, according to its most recent quarterly earnings report, with three in the U.S. and the remainder in Canada.

The company is also planning to open 10 more locations in Canada by the end of its 2019 financial year, hoping to add up to 25 new shops in Taiwan and China, as well as build a presence in Singapore and Malaysia in the same time frame. It had 110 partner-operated stores in Taiwan and 32 in China as of February 3.

The company has been in the midst of a multi-year transformation project that started during its 2016 financial year. The culmination of the plan should see it achieve $410 million in annual sales during its 2019 financial year, which ends in early 2020.

Part of the plan included the 45-year old retailer, known for its lounge wear and leather goods, listing shares on the Toronto Stock Exchange.

The October initial public offering was considered unsuccessful at the time. The initial stock price of $12 per share was $2 to $4 below the original proposed range and the stock closed at $10 on the first day of trading.

Its shares seldom traded above the $12 set for the IPO until its latest quarterly earnings were released April 18. The company’s sales and adjusted earnings topped analysts’ expectations following a busy holiday shopping season.

Roots shares were trading at $13.15 at midday on the Toronto Stock Exchange.