Continuing on with a Scandinavian theme we are excited to announce Marimekko’s strong investments in internationalisation continues with the opening of the first company-owned stores in Australia. Marimekko products have been sold in Australia since the 1960s, but now the company is getting established there on a larger scale. A flagship store has just opened in Sydney today and Melbourne will get its own Marimekko store on 5 November 2012.
Both new stores are opening in prime locations, and they are based on the same concept as the several new stores opened in recent years, in all of which special attention has been paid to inspirational aspects, enjoyment and the total service experience. The product ranges embrace all of Marimekko’s product lines.
The Sydney flagship is in an art deco building in the city centre at 66 King Street, and in its immediate vicinity are Apple and Louis Vuitton stores among others. The store was designed by the same team who were in charge of the visual layout in the flagship stores in Helsinki and New York. The interior of the two-storey store, which is light and up to eight metres high, provides an excellent framework for impressive presentations. The Melbourne store will also be opened in a popular and busy shopping district where many attractive clothing and home décor shops are clustered. The address of the store is 576 Chapel Street. The new stores will play an important part in building Marimekko’s recognition factor and in underpinning the brand image in Australia.
President and CEO Mika Ihamuotila: “Our expansion in Australia seems to me a very natural step. The strongest focus of growth in the global consumer market has shifted from the Atlantic and Europe to the Pacific region. It is partly for this reason that we have invested in this region particularly much in recent years. New Marimekko stores have been opened in Japan, South Korea and Hong Kong.”
Australia has been somehow isolated as a market for a long time, and European and American brands have entered it slowly. Many have also chosen department stores and various speciality dealers as their distribution channel instead of having stores of their own. Marimekko is among the first foreign brands in its category to be building a chain of its own retail stores in Australia.
“Positive and easy going Australians like Marimekko’s playfulness and colour. This is why I believe our new stores will do well. My assessment is also backed by our long roots in this market and the increased interest in Marimekko shown recently by the local media,” Ihamuotila observes, continuing: “The stores being opened in Sydney and Melbourne will be Marimekko’s first in the southern hemisphere. This naturally means that we will have to take geographical facts into account in our design more broadly than before, which will also facilitate accessing other markets in the southern hemisphere later on.”
The company’s long-term aim in Australia is to expand distribution through high-class speciality dealers and department stores and to open new Marimekko stores, both company-owned and retailer-owned. A subsidiary was set up in Australia early this year and the local team will be in charge of expanding distribution.