(Filed Under wholesale Lingerie News). Björn Borg AB has opened its first underwear “Candy Store” in the U.K. as it aggressively proliferates its own retail shops across Europe. The Swedish firm generates most of its income from men’s underwear (it also has women’s and kid’s lines), but also offers sportswear, swimwear, footwear, bags, eyewear and fragrances under licensing agreements.
“In line with our expansion plan we now take our Candy Store-concept internationally further,” declared CEO Arthur Engel in company statement. “We have previously opened Candy Stores in both Germany and Gallerian in Stockholm and plan to introduce the concept on more markets. This type of store reflects our brand exceptionally well and makes our lines of underwear more accessible to the customer.” The Candy Store concept was defined by the company in an earlier statement as kiosks or island “retail spaces measuring approximately 20 square meters in the open areas” at shopping centers.
This latest kiosk is in the Bluewater Shopping Centre just outside London. According to the company, it has been selling product in the U.K. since 2005, in “shop-in-shops” and in department stores such as Selfridges and Harrods, The company says it plans further expansion the country, including through its own stores.
Last summer Björn Borg opened two similar Candy Stores in Germany. In all, according to its 2011 financial statement, the firm operate 15 company-owned stores in Sweden and operates franchise stores in other parts of the world including 27 in the Netherlands, two in Norway, one in Finland, seven in Belgium, the two in Germany, one in Chile and one in Slovenia. The company’s current web site also indicates a shop in Shanghai.
Björn Borg’s 2011 annual report states that, internationally, “around 4,100 retailers sell Björn Borg underwear, including 850 in Sweden, 700 in the Netherlands, 800 in Denmark and 650 in Norway. In smaller markets, around 1,000 retailers sell these products. Licensed products are sold through a total of around 5,000 retailers, about half of which are in Sweden. Fashion and sporting goods chains as well as department stores – some with shop-in-shops – have gradually grown in importance to the sale of Björn Borg products, while independent retailers are shrinking in number. This creates a more efficient selling-in process and leads to greater exposure in areas with high customer turnover.”
In North America the underwear is offered by LA-based International Jock and Vancouver-based Topdrawers among others. According to the company, Björn Borg is positioned “in the upper mid-price segment.”
Björn Borg AB, which has been listed on the Stockholm Stock Exchange since 2007, made a profit of about $15 million on sales of about $82 million in 2011. In 2010, on almost exactly the same sales, the company made a profit of about $14 million.
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