Politikos.gr – From a local store to international expansionInternational Expansion
Can a multi-brand department store in Lamia, a small town in Central Greece, scale to a large fashion organisation with international presence?
That was the first question, we had to answer to the management of General Commercial S.A., that operates the Politikos Department store.
The challenge was accepted and the results were quite impressive. Read below for more details.
Expanding abroad is not an easy process, as we had to face a series of challenges. The most difficult ones, were:
- Cultural Differences:
Each country has its unique culture, values, and norms, and it’s essential to understand and respect them. For instance, what sells (as a fashion trend) in one country may not be the same as in another.
- Supply Chain Management:
A multi-brand fashion company, such as Politikos.gr, must ensure that its supply chain can handle the increased demand for its products in new markets. Additionally, international shipping along with last-mile delivery and payments can be complex, from country to country.
Entering a new market means competing with established local and international players. So we needed to understand better our competition and develop strategies to differentiate ourselves. Moreover, we had to be mindful of pricing strategies, as prices that work in one market may not be effective in another.
Initially, our plan was to increase our market share in Greece. So, after carefully examining and analysing the customer base of Politikos.gr (mostly male, over 35), the first move was to acquire Koolfly.com, a fashion webstore, with established brand name but great difficulty to scale.
After a major re-platform and redesign, Koolfly.com was the means to reach a more young feminine audience, that assisted the company to greatly increase its customer base, in Greece.
Then, we developed Stylewish.bg, a webstore that was focusing in the Bulgarian market. During the development and its launch, we mapped everything in the process, that would assist us to develop more local properties of the brand (Stylewish). Apart from others, each local version had its own local currency, local pricing policy, local customer support, local delivery services and local payment solutions.
Having, succeeded with the Bulgarian version, we developed local versions for Romania, Czech Republic and Poland, whilst adapting the greek version to Cyprus (same language), reaching in total 6 countries with local presense
Within 18 months, the numbers were more impressive than we anticipated.
- A 250% increase in total sales
- Over 70% of total sales, were online
- Over 30% of total sales, were produced internationally, with double-digit MoM increase