Italian sportswear and activewear brand Colmar has just inaugurated its Colmar Lab new concept store in Milan, in the futuristic-minded square Piazza Gae Aulenti (see our previous coverage here).

The new 200 square meters scenic store is characterized by a 6-meter high ceiling and modern birch wood, dark raw metal, glass and concrete structures.

SI's Maria Cristina Pavarini and Colmar's Stefano Colombo
SI's Maria Cristina Pavarini and Colmar's Stefano Colombo
“We are very happy to present this new concept that will express our brand's double personality,” commented Stefano Colombo, marketing manager and owner of the brand, explaining how the brand now offers a selection of more fashion-minded pieces recalling increasing success and a more active-minded selection of products reflecting the past and the long-time appreciated DNA of the brand – each one displayed on a specific wall of the store in order to better present the existence of the two juxtaposed and distinct souls of the brand to the consumers.

The store's new concept is meant to be replicated in other locations that will add to the two newly opened boutiques in Annecy (France) and Brunico (Italy), respectively inaugurated in August and at the beginning of October.

“In the last three-four years we have taken some initiatives with the aim to raise our product's image by developing more sophisticated and higher quality products,” explains Colombo. “Also this opening is part of this strategy since in this area we expect top-notch visitors, including Milanese, tourists, fashion insiders and the inhabitants of the luxury residential area surrounding this area of the city. Plus in Milan there are not many specialized sports store anymore and we can both cater fashion aficionados and sophisticated sports fans.”

In terms of new future initiatives Colombo is not disclosing specific initiatives even if it is not excluding any. “We will take into consideration whatever can help us increasing our image and visibility. As we did with the recent launch of our footwear line as a licensing agreement, or as the collaboration for a selection of eyewear pieces in collaboration with Italia Independent...We have other projects in store,” he explains while referring to the international trade shows they will participate in such as Pitti Uomo, Premium, Ispo and Modefabriek, plus other shows through local distributors in the US (Liberty, Project, Coterie and Sia).

Colmar Originals
Colmar Originals
By end 2014 they expect to reach about €75 million sales that might grow to about €100 million by 2016. At present they are selling about 75% to Italy and 25% to other countries and are constantly growing in both market areas. “We are aiming at growing in a healthy and consistent way,” continues Colombo. They operate through 3,000 multibrand stores and 12 monobrand ones. They might open three new stores by end 2015.

Colmar's core markets outside of Italy are Northern European countries such as Germany, Austria, France, The Netherlands, Belgium and Scandinavia (Norway and Sweden especially).