Skip to main content
// //

Blake Shelton arrives at "The Voice" Red Carpet Event on Monday, Dec. 8, 2014, in Los Angeles.

Richard Shotwell/The Associated Press

Gildan Activewear Inc. hopes country music superstar Blake Shelton will extend the awareness of its brand and help sell more products to women.

The Montreal-based company has signed the musician and reality TV star to a two-year deal to promote its retail brand through TV advertising, sponsoring the singer's tour and using his photo in store displays to attract retail customers.

Chief executive Glenn Chamandy says he thinks the company made the right catch, even though Shelton's wife, Miranda Lambert, is also a very popular country music star.

Story continues below advertisement

"His awareness with women is very strong," Chamandy said Thursday as Gildan's female executives nodded their heads following the company's annual meeting.

Gildan took a year working with its advertising agency before signing up its first celebrity endorsement. It was seeking someone with great awareness by both men and women.

Shelton is also very popular in the same regions of the United States where Gildan's lines of basic T-shirts, socks and underwear perform best.

The U.S. market for branded clothes is worth $20-billion (U.S.) – five times as large as printwear – and Gildan wants to capture a large part of that.

In just one year, its share of the men's underwear market doubled to 6 per cent, making it the third-largest brand. The goal is to reach 10 per cent this year and eventually 30 per cent.

Gildan's product offering is heavily skewed to men, although many of its unisex shirts appeal to both sexes.

About 20 per cent of its products are targeted at women. Before last year's acquisition of hosiery maker Doris, that number was about 10 to 15 per cent. The goal is have that ratio balanced evenly.

Story continues below advertisement

"We have more sales in the men's area today but we're making headway into ladies as well," Chamandy told reporters, noting that more women's products are being added to the retail product mix.

Doris is the dominant supplier of women's hosiery in Canada. Gildan wants to extend Doris sales to the United States and use the segment's connections with Canadian retailers to sell Gildan's other brands. Its $100-million acquisition of Comfort Colors announced Wednesday will also help since the dyed, weathered products are popular with college students of both sexes.

Gildan is also looking to round out its portfolio by adding brassieres, possibly through an acquisition.

Report an error
Tickers mentioned in this story
Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to feedback@globeandmail.com. If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to letters@globeandmail.com.

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff.

We aim to create a safe and valuable space for discussion and debate. That means:

  • Treat others as you wish to be treated
  • Criticize ideas, not people
  • Stay on topic
  • Avoid the use of toxic and offensive language
  • Flag bad behaviour

Comments that violate our community guidelines will be removed.

Read our community guidelines here

Discussion loading ...

To view this site properly, enable cookies in your browser. Read our privacy policy to learn more.
How to enable cookies