Well-known in Kansas City for gifting Royals manager Ned Yost a snazzy timepiece, Niall will soon be offering a host of new luxury products — including a high-tech pen — and a new store to feature them.
Led by CEO Mike Wilson, Niall on Wednesday announced an expansion of its product line to include a fancy Bluetooth-enabled pen, leather goods, apparel and a new, yet-to-be-named retail location. The retail store, which is slated for a June opening, will feature Niall products as well as showcase the live manufacturing of its watches.
Wilson said the Niall store will feature a large glass room in which watchmakers will carry out the delicate construction of timepieces in front of guests. The Kansas City-based company has yet to decide on a final store location, but Wilson said it will offer a firsthand look at the craftsmanship behind its goods.
“To be able to see the production of our product in a manufacturing facility is really what will set this store apart,” Wilson said. “Our brand — one that’s experience driven and has a complex audience — requires coming to see us. It requires hearing our story and meeting our people. There’s no better way to deliver that than with our own store.” Wilson anticipates selling about 900 watches around the world in 2016, netting revenue upwards of $4.7 million.
Wilson anticipates selling about 900 watches around the world in 2016, netting revenue upwards of $4.7 million.
Speaking to students at the University of Missouri-Kansas City, Wilson said that booming sales of the company’s first watch — the $5,250 Niall One — helped enable the store and product expansion for the company. Wilson anticipates selling about 900 watches around the world in 2016, netting revenue upwards of $4.7 million.
With a slogan to entice people who are “all in” — an anagram of Niall — the firm’s new products aim to establish it as the next great American luxury brand, Wilson said. The new merchandise includes a men’s and women’s watch, wallets, shirts and a $120 titanium or stainless-steel pen. Wilson said the pen will soon feature “digital leash” technology that will notify a user via a smartphone if they walk away from the pen.
“When we think of an ‘all in’ man, they exist in the boardroom, in the office, they’re writing deals, signing bills into law or writing prescriptions,” Wilson said. “We’re really good at manufacturing things out of metal, we care about craftsmanship and knowledge of complex microsystems, so it seemed obvious to produce writing instruments.”
Kansas Citians may best know Niall for its timely gift to Kansas City Royals manager Ned Yost. After Major League Baseball banned the use of Yost’s Apple Watch in the dugout, Niall gave him a royal blue dial “Niall One.3” timepiece.
Many celebrities have sported a Niall watch, including baseball hall-of-famer George Brett, University of Kansas basketball coach Bill Self, actors Paul Rudd and Rob Riggle and several others.
Asked about the name Niall, Wilson said that it derives from his heritage.
“I took a DNA test about three years ago and found I’m a direct descendant of King Niall of Ireland,” he said. “It sounds a lot better than putting Mike Wilson on a watch. … Niall is digging into our story with this — we exist more than just to make watches. We wanted to find something that really showcased where our heart is at. Niall is apart of me. It’s my heritage.”