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Comment: Expanding in a ever-changing world

Christina Simone

Last week, I had the pleasure of meeting Norman Jaskolka, the head of global for footwear brand Aldo.

We chatted about the part he continues to play in growing the Canadian brand, which now has shops in more than 90 counties, into an international multichannel empire. He shares his know-how here.

“Today, the level of sophistication [in the industry] is so high, that the actual operation of the store is different,” he told me. Although he admitted that companies are still trying to crack the code on how to operate successfully as a multichannel international brand, because building a brand varies from country to country, one thing is clear: international expansion seems to be the on the agenda of many.

Today, the level of sophistication [in the industry] is so high, that the actual operation of the store is different

Norman Jaskolka, the head of global for footwear brand Aldo

British brands Reiss and Karen Millen have opened stores in Australia – a “fertile territory” says Drapers writer Naomi Bikis in her international report. The country has become more fashion-conscious and, with its relatively stable economy, seems a good place to lay the groundwork for global expansion.

One thing to remember, however, is that to gain an accurate understanding of a country’s customer expectations, you also have to understand how they are using digital: mobile, ecommerce, apps and social media. We have reported on changes to Instagram and Facebook tools that are offering more insight to retailers but at the same time making the shopping experience even more more competitive.

Martin Harbech, head of ecommerce and retail for Facebook, expands on Facebook’s new opportunities to help retailers gauge customer’s wants, down to the exact minute. Facebook, which now has 1 billion users every day, has the ability to affect potential customers all over the world – and data is key to the journey.

Also a touchpoint at the Drapers Operations Forum, Finery London co-founder and COO Luca Marini agreed that data analytics platform at the centre of the for the online womenswear brand’s operations gives it the tools it needs to make better decisions.

Whether you choose to venture out internationally or start selling product from Instagram take a last bit of wisdom from Aldo’s Jaskolka and “don’t forget why you started”.

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