Chief executive officer Jan Stig Andersen tells Drapers why Danish outerwear brand Rains is betting on bricks and mortar.
Rains was founded in 2012 and is known for its fresh spin on the traditional rubber raincoat. It plans to open 10 new branches around the world before the end of this year, including debut stores in Stockholm, Gent and Utrecht, as well as second locations in London, Paris and Copenhagen. Chief executive Jan Stig Andersen explains why it is looking beyond etail.
Many retailers and brands are closing stores – why are you pushing ahead with an ambitious expansion plan?
There is no doubt that there is a transformation in the way retailers go to market, but there is a bright future for companies that understand omnichannel behaviour.
At Rains, we believe that our online platform and our stores fulfil different needs at the same time. The right mix of physical and digital product availability is essential. The Rains stores are a statement of being the category leader within fashionable rainwear.
What will opening the stores bring to the brand?
The Rains stores will act as hubs for international, fashion-conscious consumers to experience the entirety of our collection. In the Rains stores, the consumer can see, touch, feel and try on the products in a branded environment with skilled associates providing knowledgeable guidance and service. We offer a feeling and an experience.
What is the strategy behind the new store’s locations?
We are selling a lifestyle product, so we must be present where our target consumers are. The fashion-conscious consumer is travelling to, shopping in and moving into the big cities. The natural centre for innovation, creative density and the future business concentration is in the big cities. When we enter a new market, we base it on what we call a “big-city approach”, so we think about starting with Shanghai rather than entering China, starting with New York rather than entering the US.
What will the new stores look like?
The stores incorporate natural and industrial textures. The concept is inspired by Nordic weather conditions. The environment is clean yet surprising, and highlights our colourful and diverse waterproof rainwear universe.
What do you think is behind Rains’ popularity since it launched in 2012?
It is obviously important to offer a high-quality product, great service and effective branding. Rains has delivered all these basics. Other characteristics are an understanding of the audience and not trying to appeal to everyone. [You have to] finding the right branding and pricing approach, which requires a detailed understanding of the market. Rains is consistent in quality, service and product quality.