Marimekko, the renowned Finnish fashion and lifestyle brand, is taking steps to restructure its operations in response to a significant decline in sales caused by the global pandemic. The company reported a 20% decrease in sales for the second quarter of this year, a result of the unprecedented crisis facing the global fashion and specialty retail sector.

The pandemic has not only disrupted economies worldwide, but it has also accelerated changes in consumer purchasing behavior. It has become evident that digitalization is crucial in the industry, and Marimekko has noticed a shift towards digital sales channels among its customers, including new customer groups. This observation will greatly influence the company’s distribution strategies in the future. Additionally, the current global uncertainty has led to increased price sensitivity among consumers, adding further pressure for profitability in the fashion sector.

To adapt to this new environment and ensure long-term competitiveness, Marimekko has already made adjustments to its retail operations. Now, the company has decided to initiate consultations with its personnel to reorganize and streamline its operations in Finland. Similar processes will also be carried out in Marimekko’s Scandinavian, North American, and Australian organizations. The objective of this restructuring is to align the company’s structure, competencies, job roles, and working methods with the ongoing transformation in the industry.

Tiina Alahuhta-Kasko, President and CEO of Marimekko, stresses the importance of responding effectively to the changing landscape. The fashion industry is undergoing significant changes, placing increased pressure on the company’s operations and demanding strategic realignment. The consultation period will involve all Marimekko operations in Finland, excluding retail store staff and production personnel at the printing factory in Helsinki. By implementing these changes, the company anticipates annual cost savings of approximately €1.5 million.

While job losses are expected, Marimekko is also considering possible changes to job descriptions, working methods, and the organization of work. The company is even exploring the option of outsourcing certain functions. Ultimately, these restructuring efforts will primarily impact 193 employees out of the total 432 employed by the company as of June 2020.

Marimekko’s decision to restructure is a clear reflection of the challenges faced by the fashion industry in the aftermath of the pandemic. The crisis has expedited the need for digitalization and emphasized the importance of adapting to evolving consumer preferences. By implementing these changes, Marimekko aims to safeguard its future competitiveness and navigate the turbulent times ahead.

For more information on Marimekko’s restructuring plans and the impact of the pandemic on the fashion industry, please visit the following links:
1. Marimekko’s Official Announcement
2. Business of Fashion Article on Marimekko’s Job Cuts