One of recent years' most exciting Finnish fashion brands, Marita Huurinainen, has developed strongly since its funding round on Invesdor in the fall of 2016, says CEO Andreas Jank in his recent report to Invesdor.
According to Mr Jank, the growth numbers from the first half of 2017 have been very positive. Revenues reached €301,000, growing 99% from the first half of 2016. The most rapidly growing areas for the company are Japan and Korea as well as online sales in Finland.
The number of retailers selling Marita Huurinainen products has grown steadily. "It is especially encouraging to note that several large retailers have been acquired during 2017, as it makes large volume increases possible in the future", Mr Jank says, referring to Finland’s largest fashion chain Halonen (22 stores have ordered AW17 products), Hankyu department stores (over 20 department stores in Japan and China) ad Shop Channel (Japan`s biggest home shopping channel).
Korean home shopping cooperation was also signed with a local licensing partner in April 2017. The partner has already invested heavily in promoting the Marita Huurinainen brand, which was launched on September 1st. The company will be rolling out various products in the next months. "This partnership goes beyond the normal licensing cooperation for home shopping", says Mr Jank. "Products – shoes and handbags – are developed together, and a common store in Seoul and Korean online sales are also considered together."
In the company's home market of Finland, the Marita Huurinainen store in Helsinki will be upgraded from the current 16 square metre store to a 100 square metre one in mid September 2017. The larger space will enable better displaying of products and facilitate a more authentic brand experience, which will hopefully translate into increased retail sales in Finland.
Marita Huurinainen is known for its ethical fur products. This makes the big fur-consuming markets of Russia and China strategically important for the company. The first Marita Huurinainen franchise store will be opened in the center of St Petersburg in Russia during autumn 2017. The shop will be operated in close cooperation with a local partner who is taking the financial risk in setting up and running the store. As Russia is the second largest fur consuming country globally behind China, Mr Jank expects significant business potential from the store. In China, Marita Huurinainen has been selected as a strategic partner by one of the biggest Chinese luxury menswear brands with 400 stores all over China. The partnership will aim to jointly develop a women's luxury product line for the Chinese market. Mr Jank expects the first products to be sold in autumn of 2018.
Mr Jank ends his report with a positive note on cost development: "While we have continued growing sales and secured more sales growth for the future, we have at the same time reduced fixed costs. Going forward the cost base will be increased to support growth but with the aim to have only a low portion of fixed costs, while most of the costs should be variable. Following this strategy more production and logistics operations will be transferred to and consolidated in Romania with local partners, ensuring that scaling up the business further will be at variable costs mostly."
On September 14 at 6 pm, the new Marita Huurinainen concept store will be opened in Galleria Esplanad at Pohjoisesplanadi 29 in Helsinki. There is free entry to the opening event, and all readers of the Invesdor blog are welcome. More information can be found in their Facebook event.