It has been a busy couple of weeks for wetsuit & apparel specialist HUUB. The company recently confirmed the signing of young athlete Georgia Taylor-Brown – with two new product launches, the entry-level HUUB Axiom and the HUUB Archimedes III, also coming in quick succession.
Derby, UK-based HUUB notes that it is now planning a ‘major expansion and increased research and development in its ranges following another year of sales growth.’
With ongoing research & development and product launches, including nine patented or trademarked features, HUUB has reported substantial growth in the UK and internationally across 20 other countries. HUUB cites increased sales – from £1.6 million in 2015/2016 to £3.35 million in 2017. Sales are forecast to top £4.1 million in 2018.
HUUB founder and owner Dean Jackson explained that, “From this position of strength, HUUB’s vision is now to expand its ranges and broaden its international markets.” He added, “Triathlon continues to be the world’s fastest growing amateur sport and we are fast becoming the brand of choice for elite and non-professional athletes alike.
“We have seen outstanding growth in the past two years despite the continued uncertain economic climate and particularly the impact of Brexit on exchange rates.”
With take-up among elite and non-professional triathletes alike, a release from HUUB adds that it has secured a claimed 30% share of the UK wetsuit market in just five years; and the company now has a presence in 20 other countries.
Jackson continued, “Growth has come from direct sales in the UK and greater penetration through distributor networks in countries such as Japan, France and Norway where we are now selling a greater range of our products. We are also looking further at these emerging international markets – from South East Asia through to Japan and Australia.
“We have had much-needed backing from [UK government agency] Innovate UK; and this kind of investment needs to continue for companies such as ours ,with trade agreements still up in the air and an even greater need for innovation to set British companies up above the rest in international markets.
Dean Jackson created the HUUB operation in 2011. The focus was on delivering a ‘new sporting brand which utilised technology and research in the design of its clothing and accessories to deliver performance enhancing products.’
The initial specialism was in the wetsuits category; and HUUB wetsuits are now sported by some of the world’s top triathletes including Olympians Alistair and Jonny Brownlee, who have now renewed their contract with HUUB until 2020, as well as Derby’s own Tom Bishop who will compete in the Commonwealth Games 2018.
“Having conquered the UK wetsuit market and created a strong brand, we can now expand into other areas of performance clothing and accessories – built on the same principles of ‘research, science and reality’,” Jackson said.
“Our attentions are particularly turning to R&D in cycling apparel. We are working with aerodynamics expert Dan Bigham at the Derby Arena velodrome to apply the same rigour that we undertake for research into wetsuits and tri-suits to our new cycling range – leading to better performance, comfort and functionality on the bike.”
He continued to highlight that a particular focus for HUUB this year would be on “meeting the entire clothing and apparel needs of triathletes at work, rest and play whether they are competing, chilling out before or after a race or preparing for their next race.”
He continued, “The triathlete is a unique athlete and not content with excelling at one discipline but with the desire to undertake and master all three aspects of a competition – swim, cycle and run. This commitment and devotion not only changes their body but also their lifestyle and they want the full wardrobe with kit and accessories – whether racing, training or relaxing.
“This is the opportunity for HUUB to be the first complete ‘for us – by us’ triathlon brand – serving all the elements of activity and to expand the knowledge and technical developments from triathlon into other sporting arenas.”