The founders of Cotton Traders we’re not only business partners; they were teammates on the playing field as well. Fran Cotton and Steve Smith were co-captains for the English rugby team. In 1987, they started their business in a small room next to the railroad station and used the Sunday newspaper to advertise their mail-order rugby shirts. These two professional athletes proved to be successful on and off the playing with their determined attitudes.
All it took was two years for the partnership to gain a $2 million in sales. Since the boom of their business, Cotton Trader’s is still, 20 years later, growing and achieving high standards. Today, the company contains over 700 employees around the UK with astonishing sales of $50 million. Their mail-order business has grown tremendously over the past two decades. Due to their 25 different editions of their catalogue, they can reach over 2 million customers around the globe.
Like other athletic brands, Cotton Traders has also begun to make leisurewear, casual clothes, swimwear and footwear in addition to their athletic wear. They’ve also even taken a further step into household textiles and accessories. They pride their products, from the first rugby shirts they made to their extended line of products today, on being top quality and a great value to its consumers.
The Cotton Traders sponsors teams around the world including the Leicester Tigers. Cotton Trader’s wants their brand name to be seen on some of the top teams in rugby because they want their customers to know that’s where their brand belongs. They are known to provide their players and consumers with the highest quality products they can offer.
The two partners are still involved with the company’s daily operations. Fran Cotton heads the mail order operations, while Steve Smith handles the wholesale branch of the company. Steve also continues to keep his name in the rugby world by commentating on rugby-specific television and radio stations.