Smiggle unveils European expansion plans as UK becomes biggest market


Australian stationery retailer Smiggle has announced plans to grow into mainland Europe in 2018 – as it confirmed that the UK has become its largest global market.

Smiggle first launched in the UK in February 2014, and since then it has opened more than 100 stores across the country to take its worldwide portfolio to 300.

It also made its debut in the Republic of Ireland in May 2017 with two new stores, and expects to be operating 15-20 within three years.

The Australian brand‘s performance across in both the UK and Ireland has prompted Smiggle to announce that it will grow its European markets by entry into The Netherlands and Belgium next year.

Combined, these two countries have a personal stationery market size of US$1.7 billion (£1.26 billion) and Smiggle expects to operate 40-50 stores within them over the next four to five years.

In addition, it hopes to open another 100-120 stores in existing markets in the next two years. Along with Australia, the UK and Ireland, Smiggle also trades in New Zealand, Hong Kong, Singapore and Malaysia.

The latest financial results from   Smiggle‘s parent company – Premier Investments Limited – revealed that the stationery brand achieved global sales of $238.9m AUD (£140.35 million) in its 2017 fiscal year, up 28.8 per cent on the previous year thanks to new stores and strong like-for-like sales growth.

Over 60 per cent of Smiggle sales were from outside Australia, with the UK now its biggest market.

The retailer also plans to deliver global revenues in excess of $400 million (£235 million) by 2020.

“Smiggle has become a truly unique, highly profitable global brand, and is quickly being recognised as a new and leading retail concept in all of its new markets,” managing director John Cheston said.

“We are very excited to have a pipeline of an additional 100-120 new stores in existing markets over the next two years, a rapidly growing Smiggle online business in both the UK and Australia and today‘s announcement of the opening of our first stores in continental Europe in [2018].

“We continue to investigate new high value countries of size and scale.”

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