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Noa Noa Gallery

After 10 years of vigorous growth, the Danish brand hopes its UK subsidiary can take it to the next level

When it arrived on UK shores 10 years ago, Noa Noa was one of the first Danish brands to turn Brit shoppers on to Scandinavian fashion. With its bohemian handwriting, tone-on-tone layering and imaginatively merchandised stores, Noa Noa helped pave the way for a flurry of Danish brands which over the past five years have gained a significant following among UK womenswear retailers.

Now the brand is setting up its own subsidiary in the UK. Over the past decade Noa Noa has created a wholesale business in the UK which includes 150 retail accounts as well as a 15-strong franchise operation. “Our growth was exponential under UK agent Ben Ludwigson, who initially brought the brand to the UK,” says Noa Noa chief executive Søren Brandt. “The challenge now is to take the brand to the next level.”

While Brandt is confident there is space to grow via new and existing wholesale accounts in the UK, among his main tasks is to develop Noa Noa’s franchise operation. “This month we open a new store in Leamington Spa [in Warwickshire] and we want to grow from 15 to 45 franchises over the next five years,” he explains.

Across Scandinavia, Noa Noa runs 55 of its own stores, although internationally the brand has 75 franchises which according to Brandt “provide a great opportunity to get the brand known locally”.

Brandt believes that a combination of Noa Noa’s price architecture - which he claims sits 20% below Jigsaw, and is more in line with Hobbs - and its market town-led locations has helped the brand weather the economic downturn. “We’ve experienced little change over the past six months because what we offer is positioned at a medium price architecture. Also, being in locations like Leamington Spa means we are not competing with multiples. Our business is more boutique-led, which encourages more consumer loyalty.”

It is through its network of own stores and franchises that Noa Noa is launching an online customer club that will encourage a dialogue between the brand and its consumers, as well as from consumer to consumer. “It will give us the chance to send samples to our most loyal customers to get feedback on product design, as well as the opportunity to send fashion show invites, birthday cards and general information about new collections,” Brandt continues.

The website will be transactional by 2010.Besides its franchise and online ambitions, Noa Noa plans to drive brand visibility and sales through shop-in-shops and department store concessions, aiming for the likes of John Lewis.

The UK strategy will be spearheaded by a new country manager, who will be in place by May, and the brand is seeking a 4,000sq ft showroom in Islington, north London. Brandt says: “The next challenge is to recruit a national sales team and have showrooms in Manchester and London before the next edition of [trade show] Pure London.”

Essentials

  • 1,100sq ft Average size of a Noa Noa franchise
  • 150 Number of wholesale accounts in UK and RoI
  • £7 to £55 Typical wholesale prices for the brand’s range
  • 500 Number of people employed by Noa Noa

Readers' comments (1)

  • Minnie Craske

    I really enjoyed reading the above article on Noa Noa as I am one of the franchise stores in the UK! Noa Noa is a fantastic company to work with and I am very excited by all the changes that are taking place at the moment. Today I met the new Country Manager in my shop in Reigate, Surrey and feel very optimistic about my future with Noa Noa! Please feel free to check out my website http://noanoareigate.com to view photos of our current collection and of my beautiful shop in Reigate, Surrey, RH2 9AE.

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