Courir enters the Dutch market
Courir is entering a new market with the opening of three stores in the south of the Netherlands. The stores are set to open within the next few weeks, consolidating the brand's presence in Spain, Portugal and Belgium.
In France, Pierre Chambaudrie, the general manager of the sportswear chain, has confirmed the company's strong momentum, announcing an increase in sales during the crucial back-to-school period and claiming a leading position in the sneaker sales sector with a 16% market share in France.
"Our ambitions as formulated following the Covid-19 related confinements have been confirmed," explained the executive to FashionNetwork.com. “We have resumed our forward path. In France, we are asserting our leadership, especially in women's wear. But the big issue for us is European expansion. For example, in Spain, we opened a store in Santander and an additional point of sale in Madrid, and we now have more than 20 units in the country. Portugal is a smaller market, but we are at five stores. And Belgium is doing very well, so we're continuing to build the network with more than 20 locations. Our plan includes the opening of one country per year. We are starting in the Netherlands this month."
Courir, which is owned by the Equistone fund, will open in the next two weeks, a dozen 250 to 300 square meter stores in these different markets, including three in the south of the Netherlands, in the border regions of Belgium. The company is opening its “Wood” concept directly in Breda, Tilburg and Eindhoven.
"This is a first step and a step forward in a very interesting and competitive country. There are many players. Some important competitors even have their headquarters there and there are also a few independents who do a very good job. For us, even if it's a country with a population of about ten million, it will allow us to test what we have validated in other markets. It will allow us to be even more demanding.”
This is an important step in a strategy designed to strengthen existing markets and to develop internationally, which should continue in the coming years, either directly or through external growth.
Regarding the latter, Pierre Chambaudrie pointed out that "there are some interesting projects on the market at the moment. We are looking at several of them, with the objective that some of them will be settled within 18 months. This will be a way for us to accelerate our expansion project and give us additional assets to reach our one billion euros in revenues goal by 2026. For these agreements, it depends on the country. In some markets, it may be interesting on small networks of four or five well-placed stores; in others, it may be about 20 locations."
Courir, with growth close to 10% compared to 2021, should cross the €600 million mark in sales in 2022, and this despite some product delivery problems with some of its suppliers producing their models in Asia.
The company has built this growth on the positive dynamics of the sneaker sector, the rise in sales of products for women, but also with the acceleration of its website, which allows it to strengthen its textile offer.
“On the digital side, we have doubled our market share in two years," said the director. “We are third in sneaker sales in France, behind Zalando and Amazon. This means that we are leaders if we compare ourselves to brands that are present in physical stores and on the web. Our omnichannel nature supports our development: we have developed e-booking and the ship-from-store service. Secondly, we are a brand known for sneakers. We will never be a textile brand. On the other hand, with a larger number of clothing references online, we could be. And that allows us to have incremental buying consistent with our sneaker offer, with a lot of basics like t-shirts, hoodies and pants that make up the urban silhouettes."
In both apparel and footwear, the big lifestyle sports brands are still pulling their weight. Nike, Adidas and Puma continue to set the pace, but players like New Balance and Converse are currently on a roll.
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