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Finnish textile company unveils expansion plans
Mar '11
Marimekko is continuing to expand its distribution in the United States this year with the opening of a flagship store in Manhattan, a US-based e-commerce site, and extended collaboration with Crate and Barrel. Additionally, Marimekko's objective is to increase its presence in home furnishing stores and new retail partnerships for clothing and accessories.

The flagship store, set to open in fall 2011, will be located in a historic building, also known as the "toy building" on one of the busiest blocks of Manhattans' Flatiron District, at the corner of 5th Avenue and Broadway on 200 Fifth Avenue. Featuring a nearly 4,000 square foot sales floor area, the store will be designed to serve as an experience-rich meeting place in which Marimekko's varied colors and design expression will lead the customer from one inspiring mood to the next.

Conceptually, the store will mirror the recently opened flagship store in Helsinki. Both stores are designed by the Japanese architectural firm IMA in cooperation with Marimekko's own store design team. While the whole world of Marimekko products will be available at the store, the newest products will be principally showcased each season.

"Opening a store of our own in an excellent location in the heart of Manhattan will support our strategy of building Marimekko's profile and strengthening the brand image," states Marimekko President and CEO Mika Ihamuotila. "It is crucially important for us to be able to ensure wide availability of our products but to do so while introducing our customers to the whole world of Marimekko in our own way. We are so pleased with the support that we have received thus far in the US, and are greatly looking forward to bringing a richer Marimekko experience to our valued customers."

Marimekko's US-based online shop will be live by summer 2011. It will provide the Marimekko experience via a comprehensive and easy-to-navigate vehicle. Marimekko is also building upon its collaboration with the prestigious home furnishings retailer, Crate and Barrel. Crate and Barrel plans to open more than twenty new Marimekko shop-in-shops over the next three years.

This spring, shops will be opened in New York (Madison Avenue,) Chicago, Los Angeles and San Francisco. The first Marimekko shop in a Crate and Barrel was opened in the SoHo store in New York City in October 2010. A Marimekko shop will also be added to the Crate and Barrel e-commerce site. To increase accessibility of clothing and accessories, Marimekko's goal is to partner with high-end department stores and specialty boutiques nationwide.

Marimekko North America Retail LLC, a subsidiary established in the United States this year, will manage the operations of the new flagship store and the online shop. The subsidiary founded in 2010, Marimekko North America LLC, will be leading the expansion of the brand in the US, including the development of the distribution network and managing the showroom set to open in larger premises in the Flatiron District, near the flagship store. The business development initiatives in North American market will be led by Lynn Shanahan. The company's current retailers in the United States also include Marimekko concept stores in New York and Cambridge.

Marimekko is a leading Finnish textile and clothing design house which through its timeless and individual, practical and beautiful products wants to create aesthetic experiences for every moment in life for people of all ages.

Marimekko Corporation

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