Marimekko Steps Up U.S. Profile
Jennifer Marks -- Home Textiles Today, 10/10/2011 2:00:00 AM
NEW YORK - Marimekko's first flagship store in the United States officially opened last week in the Flatiron district, the latest move in a steady brand expansion that began last year with the opening of the first store-in-store in a Crate & Barrel.
"We see the values of the American consumer are changing," president and ceo Mika Ihamuotila told HTT during a store preview party last week. "American want to get out of the dark, heavy, mahogany. Americans are appreciating brands that have value."
The store, located at Fifth Avenue and Broadway, features an expansive assortment of Marimekko fabrics, with an onsite sewer on hand to whip them into table cloths, window treatments or other constructions consumers may order.
The store also offers bedding (adult and juvenile), bath, tabletop, women's and kids' apparel, and accessories such as tote bags and umbrellas.
The company launched its online store during the summer and already operates Marimekko in-store boutiques in six Crate and Barrel stores, with 17 more planned.
"The new store and our other investments in the United States are important to Marimekko, but they can't be expected to pay off in the very short term. However, I believe that they will bear fruit in the longer term," said Ihamuotila.
Lynn Shannahan, president of Marimekko North America, said the store site provides "an opportunity to engage the consumers who live here, work here and travel here."
The flagship - based on the design concept used in the company's recently opened Helsinki store - is located next door to Eataly, the much-heralded food emporium opened last year by chef Mario Batali.
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