Marimekko Global Expansion – New Stores in the Nordics and Asia

Go Marimekko, go!

Marimekko is one of the best-known Finnish brands around the world. Marimekko was founded in 1951, and for example, Marimekko products have been sold in the USA since 1959. Marimekko has done several collaborations that you might know of, with Crate and Barrel, Target, and Adidas. Did you know that Skimbaco was founded in 2006 and for a brief two years, Skimbaco was an upscale online store? During those years, we also sold Marimekko products in the USA. North America is one of their key markets, but Asia-Pacific and Nordics seem to be more important. Globally, there are roughly 150 Marimekko stores, and the online store serves customers in 35 countries. As part of its 2023–2027 strategy, Marimekko focuses on scaling its business and growth, particularly in international markets. Northern Europe, including key cities like Copenhagen, remains a focal point for Marimekko as it strives to enhance brand awareness and expand its presence in alignment with the overall growth strategy.

New Marimekko Store Openings

This year Marimekko has opened multiple new stores, the latest opening is the new flagship store in Copenhagen. Nestled in one of the city’s fashion districts at Pilestraede 29, this new experiential retail space stands as the vibrant hub of Marimekko in Copenhagen, housing a design team studio on its upper floor. The Copenhagen flagship store mirrors the dynamic retail concept introduced by Marimekko in New York in late 2022 and echoes the redesigned flagship store in Stockholm.
Marimekko Store Copenhagen
Marimekko Store in Copenhagen
Paying homage to Marimekko’s globally acclaimed art of printmaking, the unique design of the space embodies the brand’s optimistic and creative lifestyle philosophy. The store boasts a carefully curated selection of Marimekko’s lifestyle products, including fashion, bags, and accessories, offering customers ever-evolving visual experiences, community events, and activations, as well as personalized and expert services—a hallmark of Marimekko since its inception.
Marimekko has a long history in Denmark and with the new flagship store we are able to showcase both our existing and new customers our updated, modern take on the joyful Marimekko lifestyle brand. The new flagship is designed to be the heart of the Marimekko brand culture in Copenhagen, increasing awareness, deepening the customer experience, and bolstering omnichannel sales in Scandinavia. With Copenhagen representing one of the key cities in the global fashion and design industry, the store will support building brand awareness and positioning also more widely in Europe in line with our growth strategy. Noora Laurila, Senior Vice President, Sales, Region West at Marimekko.

Stockholm Store

Marimekko opened its revamped Stockholm flagship store at Norrmalmstorg 4 on September, 2023. Located in the central shopping hub of Östermalm, the redesigned space reflects Marimekko’s dynamic store concept, inspired by its textile printing factory in Helsinki.  
Marimekko store in Stockholm
Marimekko store in Stockholm
Marimekko store in Stockholm
Marimekko store in Stockholm
  Serving as a creative hub and platform for visual activations, the store offers a curated selection of fashion, bags, accessories, and home décor.

Marimekko’s Expansion in Asia

Asia is the most important geographical area for Marimekko’s international growth, and the company sees growing demand for its brand in the region. They opened their first store in Singapore in September 2023. In Vietnam, Marimekko stores will be opened in the Lotte Mall Westlake in Hanoi and in the Takashimaya mall in Ho Chi Minh City later this year. The first Marimekko stores in Malaysia will be located in Kuala Lumpur: one in the KLCC mall at the world’s highest twin towers and another in The Exchange TRX mall.  

Marimekko’s Growth

The recent store openings tell a story of huge global success, but let’s look at some financial numbers.

According to Marimekko’s financial guidance for 2023 (Interim Report 1–9/2023, 8 November 2023), Marimekko Group’s net sales for 2023 are expected to grow from the previous year (2022: EUR 166.5 million).

What I find as an absolutely insane number and fact: Marimekko’s most important market is the domestic market, Finland, and traditionally it represents about half of the company’s net sales.
This is kind of shocking. Finland is a very small country with a population of 5.5 million. It’s of course great that it has a loyal customer base in Finland, but there is potential for so much more, globally. Marimekko is a front-runner in Finland in so many ways, but its growth has also been very moderate considering what a legacy brand it is. My guess is that Marimekko lacks what most Finnish companies lack: investment funding for growth. Even if you are a well-known, loved brand, you still need to invest in growth and marketing. Marimekko, like many others at the moment, faces diverse risks spanning economic and political environments, retail dynamics, supply chain disruptions, sustainability challenges, climate change impacts, compliance issues, intellectual property concerns, information security risks, and personnel-related challenges. One of the risks and opportunities lies with Marimekko’s sustainability work and targets. For example, they need to continuously evolve their sustainability practices in their product and value chain to meet the demands of values-based customers and new regulations. Sustainability and responsible business practices combined with increased investments in marketing efforts most likely will be the winning combination. Read more about Marimekko’s sustainability efforts.  

Focus areas of strategy 2023-2027: Scaling the Marimekko business and growth, especially in international markets

Marimekko has defined the following five strategic success factors to scale the growth of the Marimekko business during the next strategy period: S: Determined sustainability efforts strongly support Marimekko’s long-term success C: Sharpened creative vision to speak to a wider global audience A: Accelerating growth in Asia L: Love for Marimekko life E: End-to-end digitality to boost omnichannel growth and efficiency   I look forward seeing the next steps in Marimekko’s global expansion.    

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