Yesterday at the OutDoor show, Andy Schimeck, managing director of Marmot Mountain Europe, outlined the company's plans for the development of single-branded stores across Europe. In an interview, he said that the establishment of corporate stores will remain extremely moderate. The intention is to open three to five own stores in the next three to five years, meaning one per year, depending on the opportunities offered by particular locations.
Currently, Marmot operates only two corporate shops, which were both opened last year - one in London and the other in Nuremberg. The development of own retail will be limited to big cities from now on. Nuremberg, with its nearly half-million inhabitants, is not considered a big city, but lies close to the company's European headquarters, enabling the staff to reach the shop easily to learn efficiently about single-brand retailing. Another factor in the choice was the relatively low operation costs per square meter. Therefore, the London shop has a selling surface of only 160 square meters, while Marmot can afford 350 square meters in Nuremberg.
There are currently no precise plans for shop openings since the company is in no hurry to find appropriate locations, but one target could be Berlin where Schimeck describes the local outdoor specialty retail landscape as difficult.
The situation looks different outside the big cities and close to the European outdoor arenas. In such areas, the U.S. brand has no plans to move in with own-retail activities. Instead, the strategy is built on concept stores operated by local retailers. Until the end of the year, the number of such shops is scheduled to double including one store that will open in August in Ambleside, in the British Lake District. it will be run by Adventure Peaks, a local tour operator and multi-brand specialty retailer.
In October, another retailer will open a Marmot store in Riga, Latvia. Schimeck describes Riga as an attractive shopping environment with considerable buying power, but apparently under supplied with outdoor shops. It seems that Marmot will be the first outdoor company opening a single-brand store in the Latvian capital.