Danish Brand GANNI Looks to Enter Canadian Market with 1st Stores

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Unique Copenhagen-based women’s fashion brand Ganni is looking to enter the Canadian market by opening stores. The brand recently launched in Hudson’s Bay as part of a brand awareness initiative in this country prior to Ganni’s direct-to-consumer retail launch.

As part of its expansion plans, Ganni is seeking retail spaces in the 1,000 to 1,500 square foot range for stores in major Canadian markets, with a focus on street-front spaces as well as within enclosed shopping centres.

Ganni was founded in 2000 by Frans Truelsen, a Copenhagen gallery owner. Husband-wife duo Ditte and Nicolaj Reffstrup now own nearly half of the company and drive creative direction for the brand. Ganni’s website says that the brand is intended to “fill a gap in the advanced contemporary market for effortless, easy-to-wear pieces that women instinctively reach for day in, day out.” Pieces are meant to mix-and-match, including feminine pieces paired with denim and sneakers.

Prices are in the ‘contemporary’ price-point for the collection which includes ready-to-wear, bags, accessories, and footwear. Prices on Hudson’s Bay’s website for Ganni includes dresses priced at $375, jeans at $295, and blouses priced between $225 and $645, depending on style. A small cross-body bag is priced at $295, a bi-fold wallet is $100 and a croc-embossed handbag is $675. A low-heel slingback shoe is $400 and a hiking boot is priced closer to $600.

LVMH-affiliated private equity firm L Catterton acquired 51% of Ganni in 2017 and the brand has been growing rapidly since. North America now represents Ganni’s largest market with more than 200 stores carrying the brand, and sales were said to have nearly doubled from 2018. Much of the company’s management team is female. In total, about 400 retailers globally carry the Ganni brand and to maintain a degree of exclusivity, Ganni is selective with distribution and targets upscale retailers that in some instances carry top-end luxury brands as well as contemporary offerings.

The brand has been piloting clothing rentals in Denmark and it’s unknown if it will be brought to Canada.

In terms of retail footprint, Ganni operates more than 20 stores in Denmark, Norway and Sweden according to its website. Ganni launched its first stores in the United States in the fall of 2019 in New York City (Soho) and Los Angeles (West Hollywood) and more are planned.

Now Ganni is looking to the Canadian market and has retained Aurora Realty Consultants for its real estate search under the direction of Jeff Berkowitz.

Ganni is expected to be a hit in Canada. The brand is now the number one contemporary brand in terms of sales at both Net-a-Porter and Browns and sales continue to grow internationally. Ganni’s colourful and diverse designs are already said to be performing well at Hudson’s Bay stores in Canada. Ganni launched last year at Hudson’s Bay as part of the Bay’s initiative to expand its brand assortment to include Scandinavian brands to increase foot traffic to the department store.

Ganni’s direct-to-consumer expansion in Canada is on trend as brands are increasingly seeking to open standalone stores. Being a retailer means that Ganni is able to control store design, merchandising and staffing, while interacting directly with its consumer base through social media channels while also gaining access to data. It’s unclear if Ganni will maintain its presence in Hudson’s Bay stores once the brand begins opening its own Ganni-branded stores. Pastel-coloured walls, globe-like light fixtures and tile flooring characterizes Ganni stores which appear casual and feminine in design.

We’ll follow up on this article once Ganni secures its first store location in Canada, which could be this year.

Article Author

Craig Patterson
Craig Patterson
Located in Toronto, Craig is the Publisher & CEO of Retail Insider Media Ltd. He is also a retail analyst and consultant, Advisor at the University of Alberta School Centre for Cities and Communities in Edmonton, former lawyer and a public speaker. He has studied the Canadian retail landscape for over 25 years and he holds Bachelor of Commerce and Bachelor of Laws Degrees.

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