USA: Ecco Aims To Double US Shoe Sales
The Danish shoe company Ecco is to change its business strategy in the US in a bid to increase its US sales from 1 to 2m Danish Kroner. The company plans to open new franchise shops, with the first one due to open next year, as part of the new strategy.Sales and marketing director, 35-year-old Jan Stig Andersen will manage the American activities. Jan Stig Andersen, who has been Karl Toosbuy's right hand man for the past eight years, left for the US headquarters in Boston early September. He will be president of Ecco in the USA, Canada, Middle America and Mexico.Ecco is not earning enough money in the US although the company sells about two million pairs of shoes there per annum. "The USA represents a third of Ecco's turnover, but less than a third of earnings," said Jan Stig Andersen to the Danish daily, Berlingske Tidende. Ecco began trading in America 10 years ago and has spent nothing on TV advertising so far. Nordstrom is Ecco's biggest US customer, but Ecco shoes are also sold in independents and Macy's, Track'n'Trail, Dillards and Walking Company. The company is also looking at helping retailers increase their sales via the Internet.Pure Internet companies will not be allowed to sell Ecco shoes on the Internet. But retailers are being helped by Ecco. In a trial in America, they supplied retailers with a ready-made package for the Internet, which could save them 30 to 40 per cent of development costs for their own website.Ecco keeps a close eye on actual shops stocking their shoes, so that the presentation, logos and shop design are all up to scratch. The same is the case where Ecco shoes will be sold on the Internet. Ecco has set up web servers where the shops can retrieve pictures, presentations, films, advertising and PR material and a manual. But the retailer will be the one who actually wraps up the parcel and sends the shoes to the customer.
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