Wholesale operations and product distribution to retailers are managed by external distributors with the right to market and resell Björn Borg products in one or more geographical markets, but also through the company’s own distribution primarily in Sweden, Finland, the Netherlands, Belgium, Germany and England.
Björn Borg’s partners in the network are established players with experience in underwear or fast-moving consumer goods rather than fashion and have an extensive distribution network in their local market with the resources for long-term investments. In new markets, each distributor is evaluated on the basis of opportunities, marketing capabilities and penetration during an initial two-year trial period, after which a decision is made on how to further develop the market.
To a growing degree distribution is managed through companies within the Group. In the main areas of underwear and sports and performance apparel, Björn Borg is responsible for distribution in Sweden, England, the Netherlands, Belgium, Germany and Finland with its own sales organisations in these markets. Distribution of footwear in Sweden, Finland, Denmark and the Baltic countries is also managed by the Group.
Cooperation with external distributors
Distributors sell and distribute the products to retailers by building the brand in their markets through their sales organisations. They are responsible for sourcing, sales support, inventory, regional marketing, media planning and training. Björn Borg provides support and guidelines in the form of joint marketing and PR campaigns, among other things.
In their agreements, distributors commit to specific sales and investment targets in their markets. If a distributor cannot fulfill the requirements, Björn Borg normally can terminate the agreement. The challenge for distributors, in the face of tight competition, is to establish and maintain their position as a supplier to chains, department stores and independent retailers. Success requires a high level of service for retailers in the form of fast replenishment, attractive promotional materials and effective marketing. The ability to drive sell-through in this way is critical.
Marketing and sales feedback from distributors to Björn Borg and the licensees is important in order to continuously develop and adapt the collections and marketing activities. Several times a year Björn Borg brings together all its distributors for sales meetings, where new collections and marketing campaigns are shown and strategies and planning are discussed. The performance of each market is evaluated as well. This close cooperation in the network is important to the successful expansion of the brand.