Finnish company Marimekko has cut the ribbon on its Australian stores – the first in the Southern Hemisphere – as part of its plan to expand the brand’s presence in the local market.
While the label has been available in Australia since the 1960s it has not had its own retail presence. It has chosen prime locations for both stores – the Sydney flagship is at 66 King St near the Apple and Louis Vuitton stores and the Melbourne shop is in busy Chapel Street.
“Positive and easygoing Australians like Marimekko’s playfulness and colour,” says Mike Ihamuotila, Marimekko president and CEO. “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.
“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.”
Marimekko’s long-term goal is to grow distribution through high-end retailers and department stores. It has established an Australian subsidiary to handle this. The company also hopes to open more company-owned and retailer-owned stores.
“Our expansion in Australia seems to me a very natural step,” adds Ihamuotila. “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.”