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Biker World

Wrangler’s Asian strategy appeals to the scooter-driving generation that covets American denim



Wrangler jeans (Greensboro, N.C.) have a rugged, outdoorsy, athletes-and-cowboys image in the U.S. But not so in Asia, where the American cowboy is a less-than-familiar icon, says George Gottl, ceo of the Amsterdam-based retail design firm Uxus. “In countries like India and Thailand, Wrangler is a premium American brand with a biker image.”

But not “biker” as in rebels and outlaws, “biker” as in the countless young adults who ply their scooters through the crowded streets of big cities in India, Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia and The Philippines.

“Wages are low, so owning a car is an extreme luxury,” says Gottl. “The scooter is the common mode of transportation.”

In a new rollout throughout those countries, The Wrangler Roadhouse attempts to create a gathering place for young Asian consumers, with subtle nods to their “biker” world and a direct appeal to their social media lifestyle.

“The visual propping is subtle,” says Gottl. “The idea is to emulate some aspects of a garage, with motorcycle helmets, gas tanks and acrylic boxes filled with tools and parts. It’s a garage, but it’s a clean garage, with wood beams and slatting.”

The standard mall-based format is about 1500 square feet, but in larger stores, there might also be a motorcycle parked in a corner. The other reference is to the younger Asian generation’s ultra-sophisticated use of social media.


“The Wrangler Roadhouse captures the spirit of biker hangouts, where riders share their stories, passions and experiences,” says Gottl. A bay in the front of the store and the cashwrap area in the back are social hubs for Wrangler to announce new launches and campaigns and to stream the latest user-generated content from the online Wrangler community.

Uxus also created a new Wrangler logo, a simple W-on-a-back-pocket graphic that guides shoppers through the store. “The more familiar Wrangler logo is a cursive written with a piece of rope,” Gottl explains, “but there is no cursive in these Asian languages.”

Translating across language differences is only one challenge of marketing a brand overseas. Another is making a familiar Western cowboy image resonate far from America’s lonesome plains. Wrangler feels it has found the right horse on which to ride into Asian towns.

Wrangler Asia Pacific, Hong Kong

Uxus, Amsterdam: George Gottl, ceo; Ansell Yusupova, senior strategist; Kunihisa Kawauchi, senior lead designer; Heidi Coleman, senior lead designer
Wrangler Asia Pacific, Hong Kong: Kanok Wan; Dimitri Naert; Kris Wong; Alvin Jong

Ceilings, Flooring, Furniture, Lighting, Materials/Wallcoverings
Seal Interior and Construction Co., Bangkok


Fixtures, Signage & Graphics
Uxus, Amsterdam
Wrangler Asia Pacific, Hong Kong

Mannequins and Forms
The Visual Merchandise Store, Hong Kong

Uxus, Amsterdam

General Contractor
Seal Interior and Construction Co., Bangkok



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