The Asia-Pacific region is Marimekko’s second-largest market after Finland. Growth in the area has been very strong in recent years, and in accordance with its internationalisation strategy Marimekko is seeking to further reinforce its position in this key market. This year, the main thrust in expansion is on China and Japan.
The first Marimekko store in mainland China opened its doors in June in Beijing, and the opening in Shanghai will take place at the beginning of August; Hong Kong’s second Marimekko store will open at the end of the year. Three new stores will open in Japan this year, in Kagoshima, Tokyo and Osaka. Also, in July, South Korea’s second Marimekko store will open in Pangyo, a new town just outside Seoul. New Marimekko stores have already been opened in Guam and in Auckland, New Zealand.
In 2012, Marimekko signed a partnership agreement with the Hong Kong-based company Sidefame with the aim of opening a total of 15 Marimekko stores in China by the end of 2016. The first of these was opened in Hong Kong in May 2012. The first Marimekko store in mainland China opened on 20 June this year in the Taikoo Li Sanlitun mall in the Chaoyang district of Beijing.
In early August, a Marimekko store will open in Shanghai, in the brand-new International APM mall on the popular Huaihai shopping street. At the end of the year, Hong Kong’s second Marimekko store will open in the Elements mall above the Kowloon MTR Station. All three shopping malls offer a highly attractive range of well-known fashion and design brand products as well as a variety of leisure services.
In Japan, cooperation between Marimekko and its local distributor Look continues successfully. This year, Look will open three new Marimekko stores in addition to the previously opened 23 stores. The first, scheduled to open at the end of July, is in Kagoshima on Japan’s southernmost main island of Kyushu. Known as the Naples of the East because of the volcano rising from the sea in front of the city, Kagoshima is hugely popular with tourists. Later in the autumn, Tokyo and Osaka will see the opening of the eighth and fourth Marimekko stores respectively.
In South Korea, Look’s subsidiary I.D. Look is set to open the second Marimekko store in the country in mid-July in Pangyo, just outside the country’s capital Seoul, which is home to a lot of affluent young people. The store will be in the new Avenue France mall, whose concept is based on lifestyle shops with classy cafés and restaurants.
In June, Marimekko’s New Zealand retailer Bolt of Cloth opened a 60-square-metre Marimekko shop-in-shop focussing on interior decoration products in its new store in Auckland, the biggest city in the country. Also in the Pacific region, a retailer-owned Marimekko store has been opened in the Tumon tourist centre in Guam. The island is a highly popular destination for Japanese tourists in particular.
In addition to the Asia-Pacific region, Marimekko is also expanding its operations in its other main markets, Northern Europe and North America. The main thrust in expansion in 2013 is on openings of retailer-owned Marimekko stores and shop-in-shops. Moreover, the company focuses on developing the business of the stores it opened in 2012.