Today corporate innovation is all the rage. Large companies host accelerators, launch internal startups, and court potential startup partners in a quest to harness young companies’ innovativeness and energy for themselves.
But large legacy companies shouldn’t throw the baby out with the bathwater by neglecting their core business and assuming it has minimal room to grow.
In this article, I will detail how our company, Randa Accessories, grew from 25 to 50 percent market share in several categories and channels by focusing on its core business and adjacent “bridge” categories, and offer some takeaways for other businesses based on that experience. (I will also describe how Randa launched its own successful internal startups — I’m not saying corporate innovation isn’t useful, just that it needs to be one part of a broader strategy to excel.)
First, a little about Randa. You many not know our name, but you know our products. Our products are available under 50 brands, and are sold at over 20,000 points of sale, and millions of digital touch points.
We’re the world’s largest men’s accessories company. We sell ties, and belts, wallets, bags, hats, slippers and luggage.
Randa is completely vertical, business-to-business and direct-to-consumer, with 4,000 employees working from 23 global offices.
Our culture emphasized growth and efficiency and led us to success in revenue, margin, penetration, and market share.
For example, we’re the leading supplier of belts to Nordstrom… and to Walmart, to Kohl’s and to Amazon, and The Hudson’s Bay, Liverpool, Printemps, El Cortes Ingles, David Jones, John Lewis and to Costco.
We spent over $50 million to assure that when a consumer walks into a retail store for pants, they immediately see our belts nearby. Dress shirts? There are our ties…
And then, we hit a wall.