Originally written and published by Joshua Allsopp at opi.net
Smiggle Reveals Europe Expansion Plans
Fashion stationery retailer Smiggle has revealed plans to expand into continental Europe.
It follows the launch of 58 new stores worldwide this year, with over 60% of sales now coming from outside of its home territory Australia.
The second half of the year even saw the Smiggle UK arm become the largest market for the company, with 102 stores bucking unfavourable trends for other high street retailers. Meanwhile, the two locations opened in the Republic of Ireland in May were reportedly performing “well above expectations”. The group aims to expand to 15-20 stores in Ireland within the next three years.
Success in this region has provided a gateway to the rest of the Eurozone. Using the existing management and infrastructure in the UK to support growth – the same model used in Ireland – Smiggle now has its sights set on the continent.
The first stores in mainland Europe will open in the Netherlands and Belgium within the next year. These regions have a combined personal stationery market size of US$1.7 billion and the group said it aims to open 40-50 new locations in these countries within the next five years.
Chairman of Smiggle’s owner Premier Investments Solomon Lew（pictured）highlighted that the expansion was a fundamental part of the strategic review set out in 2011. Speaking of the new store openings he said: “This is an exciting threshold given there were only 35 stores operating when we bought the business in 2008.”
For FY2017, sales rose 28.8% on last year to A$238.9 million (US$190 million). The group now expects to deliver global sales in excess of A$400 million by 2020.