After a year of successfully integrating its various brands into the newly erected fashion group, Belgian fashion group FNG is now planning to implement two new retail formulas for its Brantano brand, in an effort to cover the entire Belgian shoe market.
‘Buy and build’
FNG spent most of last year integrating its various brands into the group and developing ‘hidden diamonds’, like Brantano and Miss Etam, into strong omni-channel retailers on the domestic market. The ‘buy-and-build’ strategy is paying off: the newly refurbished Brantano stores managed to increase their sales by 20% in 2017, while Miss Etam saw its online sales flourish (+24.7%).
The FNG Brands (Fred & Ginger, CKS, Claudia Sträter, Expresso, Steps, Promiss) are profiting from the integration into the new group as well: Steps, Promiss and the Belgian brands Fred & Ginger and CKS are now also distributed from the automated logistics warehouse built for Miss Etam in Zoetermeer. This logistics operation is expected to result in considerable cost savings as from this year, but the group is also investing in its online activities: Miss Etam’s online success seems to have paved the way for other FNG brands as well, with Steps more than doubling its gross online turnover in only a year’s time (from 5.5 to 13.5 million euros).
While FNG is further investing in all of its brands in 2018, it seems the group is particularly keen on further expanding its Brantano brand. About three quarters of its out-of-town stores have at present been refitted to reflect the new Brantano concept. In addition, FNG is now planning to introduce two new retail concepts: Brantano Boutik, which will offer more high-end and international brands, and Brantano Market, situated in between the Boutik concept and the current Brantano formula.
With this diversification of its store concepts, the fashion group is making a bid for dominance on the Belgian shoe market, but FNG is expanding its online scope as well: a newly designed webshop should enhance Brantano’s online turnover and help the shoe brand obtain its fair share of the one billion euro which is expected to shift from traditional to online retail sales by 2020. As a matter of fact, many of the other FNG brands are now also distributed on external online platforms such as Wehkamp.nl, Zalando.com, Bijenkorf.nl and Bol.com.
In 2017, FNG not only acquired personal shopping platform Suitcase and high-end retailer Concept Fashion, but also took its first steps in Germany by opening a sales office in Düsseldorf and a Claudia Sträter store in Münster, and in Spain where the fashion group opened its very first CKS store.