Marimekko is experiencing a dynamic phase of internationalisation. In 2014, the main thrust in expansion will be on openings of retailer-owned Marimekko stores and shop-in-shops.
The aim is to open a total of 15-25 new Marimekko stores and shop-in-shops. Of these, 1-3 would be company-owned stores. Also, the company will concentrate on enhancing the operations of company-owned stores opened in recent years and improving their profitability.
The Asia-Pacific region is the company's second-biggest market area, and this year Marimekko will continue to underpin its position in this region. The prospects for the economy and retail trade are good in Asia, and the company sees growing demand in the region for its design.
The intention in 2014 is to open at least six new Marimekko stores, two in Japan, two in Hong Kong, one in mainland China and one in South Korea. Marimekko's own stores in Australia have done well, and the company is currently seeking a location for a second store in Melbourne.
In the past two years, new markets have been opened up in China, Hong Kong and Taiwan. In mainland China and Hong Kong, it is intended to open 15 Marimekko stores by the end of 2016. The openings are proceeding according to plan: four stores have already been opened and another three will follow this year. In Taiwan, the intention is to open a total of five stores and shop-in-shops by the end of 2018. The first of these was opened in Taipei in November 2013.
With the exception of the Australian stores, all the Marimekko stores in the Asia-Pacific region are retailer-owned. This model ties up less of Marimekko's resources and guarantees an in-depth knowledge of the local market. The stores comply with the same concept as Marimekko's company-owned stores.
In North America, the focus of expansion this year is on developing shop-in-shop partnerships. Cooperation with the Canadian modern furniture brand EQ3 is proceeding as agreed.
The intention is to open 10 Marimekko shop-in-shops by the end of 2014. Eight of these have already been opened - seven in Canada and one in the United States - and the remaining two will open this year in Vancouver and Burlington.
The partnership with the leading Mexican department store chain El Palacio de Hierro continues: in autumn 2014, two new shop-in-shops will open in Mexico City, after which Mexico will have a total of six Marimekko shops.