After many years of friendly competition, Dolphin Wear and Deckers Uniforms have announced the decision to merge the two companies to create DWD Uniform Solutions. Speaking exclusively to SuperyachtNews prior to the announcement, Deckers’ David Ireland explained that the decision came about following much consideration, and was largely driven by the wishes of both companies' clients.
“We were all in agreement many years ago that we would be able to offer a much better service with far more benefits to our clients if we were able to come together,” he says. “And we were not the only ones: clients and friends in the industry voiced the same opinion on many occasions.”
The idea has been a long time coming – five years to be precise – primarily because both parties were waiting for the right time. The two teams are pleased to finally be able to share the news with the industry. “We are incredibly excited about the possibilities this move opens up for both our clients and the staff,” adds Deckers' Lucy Ireland. “Dolphin Wear and Deckers are like two halves that perfectly complement each other. Everyone has entered the agreement with an open mind willing to learn and share experience so as to create the best platform going forwards.”
The idea behind the new venture is to take advantage the strongest parts of each business. As an example, Ireland explains that Deckers has always had a particularly strong sales team, and Dolphin Wear a strong back office structure, and both assets can now be used to benefit the business going forward. The new company will be keeping both brands (so that uniform will still be available in each brand), the same staff on the ground, and the same premises, but with completely shared resources.
“The industry is changing so fast and we were aware we had to do something to stay ahead," Ireland continues. "With evolving technology and more information available at your fingertips, people can shop around much more easily and buy things cheaper, but doing that can be a real nuisance for chief stews. The only way for us to combat this issue is to be a big enough company to be able to offer every product at the best price, all from one location.”
As well as hoping to keep prices competitive, Ireland expects that the new venture will also increase efficiency, meaning that the time it takes to prepare an order will come down. From a client perspective, comparing records found that, while each company has about a 60 per cent crossover of clients, there was only a five per cent crossover in terms of key accounts. Therefore the move should also expand the business.
“Already the two companies are working together as if we had been one team all along, which proves for us that this was the right move at exactly the right time,” concludes Dolphin Wear’s Patrick Gilliot. “As yachts get larger so do their demands and needs, therefore what we have created is the answer to the future requirements of our industry.”
With DWD's showrooms now in Antibes, Barcelona and Palma de Mallorca, and production facilities and warehousing in both France and Spain, the company will be at the forefront of the yacht uniform sector going forward.