Inspired by Heritage
Originally launched in 1952 with the aim of producing wool fabrics, AC&co. started its men’s fashion adventure in 2011 on the back of its experience in fabric production. Here, we sit down with company Executive Board Member and General Manager Osman Cavusoglu to discuss the origins of the business, how it evolved into the international brand it is today and what comes next.
The vision of AC&co. is to offer quality fashion that satisfies the needs of its international customers by focusing on high-end fabric through their innovative technology practices and its goal is to be the market leader in men’s fashion in all the countries in which they operate. In addition, they want to offer more variation in men’s fashion by offering 360-degree fashion items that are distinguished with a high quality and that are sustainable, all at a reasonable price point.
Following its launch in 2011, AC&co. went international in 2017 with a store in Romania and today operates over 350 stores in the 17 countries of Algeria, Azerbaijan, Bulgaria, Germany, Italy, Iraq, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Macedonia, Morocco, North Cyprus, Poland, Romania, Somalia, Turkey, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan.
“Alexa in Berlin and Mall of Morocco in Casablanca are our flagship stores and the best examples of our focus on 360-degree men’s fashion vision. Within the sizes of these stores and locations, we have the best conditions to examine new collections, special campaigns and our CRM system developments,” explains AC&co. Executive Board Member and General Manager Osman Cavusoglu. “Looking ahead, we are targeting growth in the UK, Germany, Romania, Morocco and Italy within the next year by opening 25 more stores.”
Whenever they enter a new market, it is very important to AC&co. that they understand each market dynamic separately. Their starting point when entering a new territory is to survey the market to understand fashion habits, preferences, social media usage and the effectiveness of other marketing tools. Moreover, their persona boards are prepared separately for each market to help their designers to create the right collections for each market.
Prioritising customer satisfaction is AC&co.’s most important core value and the company’s CRM system is operated from their headquarters, collecting customer data separately from all around the world and its offers for occasions and special campaigns help them to connect with customers and increase loyalty.
Within the modern retail landscape, the group has fully embraced social media as a powerful marketing tool. They utilise platforms to build brand identity, engage with customers through content and interactions and drive sales through influencer collaborations, targeted advertising and real-time promotions. By leveraging the dynamic nature of social media, AC&co. can connect authentically with its audience and adapt quickly to changing market trends.
Sustainability is of great importance to the company and they care about the environment of today’s and future generations. They combine all our sustainability efforts under a single umbrella with the motto “Let the World Live”.
“We further aim to minimise the environmental impact through various partnerships and strategies. With our “Green Roof” project we have established a Solar Power Plant on an area of 14,000sq m at our headquarters in Torbali, Izmir where we have produced 1.7 megawatts of electricity since May 2022 which allowed us to meet all of our factory’s and head office energy requirement,” Cavusoglu highlights.
“Additionally, we recycle our textile waste and we also self-colour our cotton, removing the need for dyeing and therefore reducing wastewater. Furthermore, we have replaced our cardboard boxes with plastic boxes made from foldable and recycled materials to reduce CO2 emissions further.”
One of the main strategies of AC&co. moving forward is broadening their digital presence in the European market. They are currently developing projects ranging from digitalising internal communications to digitalising operational processes and offering different experiences to their customers. Combining digital and physical is their top priority in this strategy because it offers unique advantages, such as increased engagement, personalisation and convenience. Some of their plans include but are not limited to offering interactive in-store displays, developing a mobile app, hosting events and workshops, social media integration and generally utilising data analytics to track customer behaviour, preferences and buying patterns to refine their strategies and improve the overall shopping experience.
“We are also currently investing in several digital PR campaigns with a focus on edutainment, to add value for our customers and enhance their shopping experience with us,” says Cavusoglu.
When discussing what makes AC&co. stand out from the crowd, the Executive Board Member and General Manager says that within the company people will find all the essentials that a man’s wardrobe requires. Items range from classic t-shirts and sweatshirts to loungewear in addition to classic and business casual clothing such as suits, ties and tuxedos.
Their fabrics are made of water and stain-repellent textiles. The material is stretchable, allowing for a great fit and comfort. Furthermore, thanks to the sewing techniques used, their fabrics are treated to resist wrinkles and are therefore non-iron.
As our time with Osman draws to a close, he concludes by saying that the company’s greatest challenge will be to adapt to each and every market they are looking to enter and serve their customers in the best possible way.
“We are so excited to be on track to achieve our ‘becoming global’ goal by opening two new stores per month on average and our motivation to add new markets to our store portfolio show our continuing dedication to our customers,” Cavusoglu concludes.