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NEW YORK — Marimekko, the Finnish design house, is moving ahead with its U.S. expansion plans, opening a flagship here, launching an e-commerce site, and extending its collaboration with Crate & Barrel.
This story first appeared in the March 21, 2011 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
In addition, the company seeks to enter new retail partnerships for clothing and accessories and increase its presence in home furnishings stores.
The flagship will open this fall in Manhattan’s Flatiron District in the “Toy Building,” at 200 Fifth Avenue. With nearly 4,000 square feet of selling space, the store will mirror the recently opened flagship in Helsinki. Both stores are designed by IMA, the Japanese architectural firm, in cooperation with Marimekko’s own store design team. The world of Marimekko products will be displayed, with new merchandise showcased each season. Marimekko’s products range from clothing, bags, jewelry and other accessories to furnishings fabrics and tableware. The flagship’s merchandise mix will be 50 percent fashion and accessories and 50 percent home, according to a spokeswoman.
“Opening a store of our own in an excellent location in the heart of Manhattan will support our strategy of building Marimekko’s profile and strengthening the brand image,” said Mika Ihamuotila, president and chief executive officer of Marimekko.
Marimekko’s online shop will go live this summer. The Finnish firm is working in partnership with Method in New York to develop the site. In addition, by the end of 2013, Crate & Barrel plans to open 22 Marimekko shop-in-shops in its stores. This spring, shops will open in New York, Chicago, Los Angeles and San Francisco. The first Marimekko shop opened in the SoHo Crate & Barrel in October. A Marimekko shop will also be added to the Crate & Barrel e-commerce site.
The e-commerce site and flagship will be managed by Marimekko North America Retail LLC, a subsidiary established in the U.S. last year. The business development initiatives in North America are headed by Lynn Shanahan. Marimekko already has concept stores in New York and Cambridge, Mass.