Having successfully expanded its Retail operations in Austria, the Netherlands and Belgium, GERRY WEBER continues its expansion outside the German home market.
In the coming months, GERRY WEBER plans to open further company-managed Houses of GERRY WEBER in Poland and to enter the Czech, Slovakian and Swedish markets.
The new markets are concentrated around countries where the company's Retail operations are already successful such as Denmark and Poland, which means that the brand can build not only on the visibility of its existing local franchised stores but also on its brand awareness in neighbouring countries.
The company hopes that the Retail expansion will give it better control over the brand image as well as more direct access to end customers. Ralf Weber, Board member in charge of the Retail operations, says: 'Thanks to long-standing experience, the company has been able to gain important knowledge of the output markets and to establish the GERRY WEBER brand with consumers.'
The 21.2% increase in nine-month Retail revenues from EUR 259.7 million (previous year: EUR 214.3 million) is primarily attributable to the new stores opened over the past years. As of 31 July 2013, the Retail segment accounted for approx. 43.8% of total sales revenues, compared to 38.6% in the previous year. This share is expected to increase to 50% in the medium term.
In Poland, GERRY WEBER opened its first own stores back in October 2011. With another HoGW to open soon in a prime location in Gdynia, near Gdansk, the number of Polish stores will increase to 17, with another five to follow next year. This expansion follows on from the opening of the new store at Warsaw's Centrum Handlowe Arkadia on 20 September 2013, which attracted great media coverage. Based on excellent market analyses and the high brand awareness, the company sees potential for a total of 25 stores in Poland.
The Czech market will be entered in December 2013, when a store will be opened at the prestigious EKZ Novy Smichov Center in Prague. Another two stores are scheduled to open in the Czech capital before the end of the fiscal year 2013/14.
The first company-managed Retail store in Bratislava, Slovakia, is set to open in the coming months. After the extremely successful Retail expansion in Poland, the fiscal year 2013/14 will see the focus of GERRY WEBER's Retail operations shift to the Czech Republic and Slovakia.
In Scandinavia - just like in Poland and the other new markets - the expansion of the Retail activities will focus on prime locations in the large metropolitan cities. The first company-managed House of GERRY WEBER in Malmö, Sweden, will be opened already in the first half of fiscal year 2013/14, with two stores in famous shopping centres in Stockholm to follow shortly.
Besides the company's Retail stores, online commerce is playing an increasingly important role. With the Polish online shop launched in September 2013, GERRY WEBER now operates a total of five online shops, namely in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, the Netherlands and Poland. More online shops to support the company's Retail activities are at the planning stage.