While many fashion firms are still adversely affected by the global economic downturn, Denmark's largest fashion group Bestseller is seeing the crisis as a chance to expand its business, reports financial daily newspaper Børsen. Bestseller Retail Europe, the Bestseller group's largest retail company, plans to double its number of stores in Europe to 1,000 in the next few years.
MD Finn Poulsen of Bestseller Retail Europe says: "We want to exploit the current expansion opportunities. For example, it is possible to get reasonable leasing contracts for well located stores at sensible prices. We must utilise that. We have the necessary financial resources and good liquidity. An elimination race is currently taking place and we feel that with Bestseller's products and business idea, we are well prepared."
Bestseller Retail Europe has just ventured into the fashion-conscious Italian market, where the company opened its first store in Rome on Thursday, while two more are planned to open before Christmas. Over the next three years, a new store is planned to open approximately each week in Italy.
"We have tested the market in 'the Mecca of fashion', Italy, and we are convinced that there is a gap in the market for us. It is primarily Bestseller's Jack & Jones brand we will sell, because in our view Italy lacks men's fashion in our value for money segment," says Poulsen, adding that although many people believe that the Italians exclusively buy expensive brands, wages are generally not high in the country, which creates a market for reasonable prices.
In 2010, Bestseller Retail Europe also plans to increase its number of stores on its existing seven European markets including Germany and the Netherlands.