Sidefame to retail Marimekko brand in China, Hong Kong
Marimekko has signed a partnership agreement with Hong Kong-based Sidefame Ltd who specialises in retailing a range of fashion and lifestyle brands. The aim of the partnership is to open 15 Marimekko stores in China and Hong Kong by the end of 2016. The stores will be owned by Sidefame, and their location, visual aspects and local marketing will be closely in line with Marimekko's policy.
The first store will be opened in Hong Kong this year and the next in Shanghai as soon as suitable store premises are found. The stores will follow the same concept as other new Marimekko stores; they will feature all of Marimekko's product lines and the best possible locations will be sought for them. According to the agreement, Sidefame will have exclusive rights to import and retail Marimekko products in China and Hong Kong. Marimekko will, however, retain rights to e-commerce.
Marimekko has had excellent experience with a similar business model in Japan and South Korea, where there are currently 22 stores in all. From January to September 2011, sales in the Asia-Pacific region grew by more than 50% and the area became Marimekko's second-biggest market, overtaking Scandinavia.
Sidefame is part of the Fenix Group, and it currently operates 79 stores in China and Hong Kong for different brands, such as Furla, 45R, Anteprima and Atsuro Tayama. Sidefame was also the first to bring Italian fashion brand Prada to Hong Kong.
Marimekko's President and CEO Mika Ihamuotila: “China is expected to overtake the United States as the world's biggest consumer market in the next few years, and we want to boost our recognition in time while the market still clearly has room for new and attractive brands."
"We started long-term brand-building in China in 2010 during the Shanghai World Expo, and since then we have been studying the market and making Marimekko known in the media. Several retail companies were interested in Marimekko. Sidefame is an excellent partner for us because they have worked with the brands they represent on a long-term basis, they understand Marimekko design and culture, and for some time they've had success in selling our products in their Cocktail fashion shops.
“We have a common vision with Sidefame on how to build the brand and position of Marimekko in the Chinese market systematically and with a very long perspective. I think there are some signs of overheating in the Chinese retail trade, but we want to build our network of stores step by step on a firm basis and without rushing."
"It will take years to achieve the position we're aiming for, and results should not be expected too early. I am firmly convinced that the 22 shops in Japan and South Korea will support our operations in China, as many Chinese people find out about foreign clothing and interior decoration brands in places like Tokyo, Osaka and Seoul.”
Managing Director of Sidefame, Anthony Keung: “Marimekko is much more than a brand, it's about an inspirational and quality lifestyle offering joyfulness and timeless designs. We are very happy to have the opportunity of working together with our partner to introduce this aspiring Finnish lifestyle to our consumers in Hong Kong and China. Marimekko shall offer us an oasis in the city with beautiful prints and vibrant colours as channels for people to find happiness."
"We believe it will be loved and enjoyed by many. Given the development of the Chinese consumer market and the growing appetite for authentic brands, we at Sidefame see a huge potential for Marimekko in China. Sidefame and Marimekko share same values and we look forward to building together a strong presence for Marimekko.”