Following its store launch in Sydney earlier this year, Hong Kong-based tech accessories brand Casetify is planning to expand across Australia, as part of a larger goal of reaching 100 stores globally by 2025. Casetify Studio, which is currently located in Sydney Arcade alongside Pitt Street Mall, sells a range of products, including customisable phone cases, AirPod cases, phone straps, water bottles and lifestyle accessories. It also features an in-store printing service that enables cust
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s customers to select design, case-type and colour options, and have them produced on site, and in line with their requirements.
Casetify also encourages customers to trade in used phone and AirPod cases to receive a 15 per cent discount on future products and purchases. It’s part of a sustainability policy, whereby old cases from any brand are converted into new Casetify products.
The Sydney store followed the launch of its first permanent US store and four new stores across South Korea in 2022. Casetify is looking to collaborate with local artists and brands to cement its identity in Australia, and recently worked on a campaign with Vegemite as part of a tech accessories collection.
It is part of a broader plan to work with “the most creative brains on the planet,” ranging from the Louvre museum, to independent artists like David Shrigley.
Casetify ANZ country manager Cherisse Kofod told Inside Retail that the studio in Sydney is the first step in the brand’s national retail plan.
She said that Australia is an important market for Casetify within the Asia-Pacific region, and follows the success of its local e-commerce launch. It also highlights the brand’s intention to invest further in the local market.
“In terms of sales and profitability, our stores are doing exceptionally well globally,” Kofod said.
“Locally, customers can expect to see the exclusive Australian-designed col[l]abs, artists and brand collections as part of the main feature in-store. We continue to celebrate our local partners by giving them visibility in our Casetify studio.
“We will continue to [bring] Australians tech accessory designs that best represent them.”
The brand was an early adopter of NFTs, with Casetify being the first brand to launch a verified, NFT phone case. However, there appears to be less focus on this area, after NFT sales collapsed in 2022.
As many channels as possible
According to Casetify chief executive and co-founder Wes Ng, Casetify finished 2022 with a collective revenue of over $300 million, and maintained its position as the most popular phone case brand on social media.
He said that the brand – which aims to reach $3 billion in sales by 2025 – has very high penetration in the Gen Z segment.
According to Kofod, the brand’s e-commerce and bricks-and-mortar stores work in tandem to offer a strong direct-to-consumer presence.
She believes that the physical stores allow people to enter a “candy shop” of self-expression, whereby customers can feel and touch its unique designs. Meanwhile, its website enables on-the-spot customisations, and lets users browse through the different artists and designs.
“We want to have as many channels as possible to connect with local consumers in Australia and different parts of the world. Both [attract] a mix of audiences that have different levels of awareness,” Kofo said.
“The [channels offer] different retail experiences that complement each-other.”
Re-engineering its supply chain
Regarding its sustainability offering, Kofod contended that Casetify products are underpinned by sustainable design principles.
The brand is set to release its updated Recasetify program report on Earth Day on 22 April. The program will include plans to upcycle donated phone cases as part of the manufacturing process in order to develop new cases.
Kofod noted that most Casetify products include some level of recycled products, with some featuring up to 80 per cent as part of its design.
The Recasetify initiative has seen over 51,000 phone cases collected and recycled since 2021 – according to the brand’s website – with 28,000kg of cases diverted from landfill.
She added that the brand is re-engineering its supply chain to make sure that the end of an accessory’s lifecycle can be the beginning of a new one.
“We believe in rewarding consumers who help us recycle. These cases are then converted into our products, using advanced technology and patent[ed] methods,” she said.
Regarding future plans, she said that Casetify is looking to open more stores across Europe, America and Asia Pacific, with the next Australian store in a “secret” location.
“Australia, keep your eyes peeled,” she said.