Marimekko, the iconic Finnish design and lifestyle brand, has reported a strong performance in the fourth quarter of 2020 and is optimistic about its growth prospects in 2021, with a specific focus on expanding in the Asian market.

Despite the challenges posed by the ongoing pandemic, Marimekko witnessed a notable 8% increase in net sales for the fourth quarter, reaching €37.4 million. This increase was driven by a positive trend in wholesale sales, particularly in Finland, the EMEA region, and Scandinavia. Non-recurring promotional deliveries played a significant role in boosting Finnish sales.

Although physical stores experienced a decline in footfall due to the second wave of Covid-19, Marimekko’s online sales remained robust and provided strong support to overall retail sales. The decline in retail sales was relatively moderate considering the circumstances.

Furthermore, the company saw a substantial rise in comparable operating profit, soaring from €3 million to €5.8 million, thanks to a reduction in fixed costs. However, the shift to online sales did result in higher logistics costs.

For the full year of 2020, Marimekko’s net sales experienced a slight 1% decline, totaling €123.6 million. This decrease can be attributed to lower retail sales in Finland, North America, and Scandinavia, as well as a fall in wholesale activity in the Asia-Pacific region. Once again, online sales outperformed expectations. On a positive note, the comparable operating profit for the year increased by an impressive 18%, reaching €20.2 million.

Looking into the future, Marimekko foresees growth in sales for the year 2021 and expects the comparable operating profit margin to align with its long-term goal of 15%. However, due to the ongoing uncertainty caused by the pandemic, there remain some uncertainties regarding this forecast.

The success of Marimekko in navigating through the challenging operating environment was credited to its long-term strategy of brand development and digital business expansion. The company aims to provide a diverse range of lifestyle products while maintaining flexibility in its operations. Marimekko’s CEO, Tiina Alahuhta-Kasko, stressed the importance of investing in digital business, ensuring a seamless omnichannel customer experience, and prioritizing sustainability and brand awareness in the coming year. Additionally, she highlighted the need to continuously develop the skills of the company’s employees to adapt to the rapidly changing environment.

These strategic investments, combined with the groundwork laid over the years, are expected to lay a solid foundation for Marimekko’s international growth, with a specific focus on expanding in the Asian market.

Useful links:
1. Marimekko official website: https://www.marimekko.com/
2. Article on Marimekko’s expansion plans in Asia: https://www.retailnews.asia/marimekko-continues-to-expand-in-asia-with-opening-of-online-stores-in-japan-and-singapore/