The majority of wholesale operations and product distribution to retailers is handled by external distributors with the right to market and resell Björn Borg products in one or more geographical markets.
Björn Borg’s partners in the network must be entrenched players with experience in underwear or fast-moving consumer goods rather than fashion and have an established distribution network in their local market with the resources for long-term investments. In new markets, each distributor is evaluated in terms of its opportunities, marketing capabilities and penetration during an initial two-year trial period, after which a decision is made how to further develop the market.
To a growing degree distribution is being handled by companies within the Group. In its main areas, underwear as well as sports and functional apparel, Björn Borg is responsible for distribution in Sweden, England and Finland through its own sales organizations in these markets. The Group also handles footwear distribution in Sweden, Finland, Denmark and the Baltic countries. Since the fragrances product area was incorporated into the Group, Björn Borg has been responsible for distribution of its products as well. Sales to customers of sporting goods retailers were expanded in 2015.
Cooperation with external distributors
Distributors sell and distribute the products to retailers by building the brand in their markets through their sales forces. 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 activities.
In their agreements, distributors commit to specific sales and investment targets in their markets. If a particular distributor cannot meet the requirements, Björn Borg can normally terminate its 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. The key to success is to provide a high level of service for retailers in the form of fast replenishment, attractive promotional materials and effective marketing activities. The ability to drive retail sales 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 the new collections and marketing campaigns are shown and strategies and planning are discussed. The performance of each market is evaluated as well. Close cooperation within the network is important to the successful expansion of the brand.