Interview by Lorenzo Molina

After the recent announcement of Scotch & Soda taking over its German wholesale business, we talked with Alex Jaspers, Scotch & Soda’s international sales manager about the brand situation in this country and their ambitions in this market.

How many wholesale partners does the brand currently have in Germany and how do you expect this figure to evolve?
We are currently working with around 700 wholesale partners. These partners are all valued associates of the brand and many of them have been loyal to Scotch& Soda for years. The objective is to grow with these clients and service them even better, create an even larger attention on pre-order, re-order and Never Out of Stock (NooS) opportunities. Focus, dedication and specialism will harvest the tremendous opportunities that we see in Germany.

700 wholesale partners seems like a good figure, but which is the trend when analyzing the number of wholesale partners in the last couple of years?
Wholesale is a very dynamic part of the industry and as you know wholesale needed a different approach the last couple of years across the globe. Our core clientele stabilized and shifted a bit from pure independents to Shop-In-Shop (SIS) clients. We have divided our wholesale partners in different channels of independents, online independent, key accounts, online key accounts and SIS. And especially in the key accounts and SIS we saw a nice growth in total orders. Our SIS program that we have been putting some extra effort in is progressing nicely. Next to that our online business is looking prosperous.

How many German POS are stocking the brand now?
Around 850 doors.

From the beginning of 2015 until now, how was the evolution of German POS?
It is quite stable.

Maison Scotch spring/summer 2016
Maison Scotch spring/summer 2016

Why do you think that you’ll better manage the brand’s further growth in Germany with an in-house sales and distribution team?
In the new set up our customers will be served by dedicated pinnacle Scotch & Soda staff, from Scotch & Soda signature showrooms and will enjoy even higher service levels. And they will experience even closer business cooperation in the broadest sense of the word, with increased focus, engagement and specialism as key drivers of the accelerated growth of our brand in Germany.

Scotch & Soda aims to make Germany its second focus market. What are the brand ambitions/goals in this market?
The goals and opportunities are numerous but the objectives are clear: work even closer with the existing independent wholesale partners, grow the already strong relationship with key accounts, make our loyalty program accessible to more retailers, build the business to outstanding level, grow turnover on pre-level sales and service all our clients with an excellent stock replenishment system so we can continuously have our product on the floor in a twelve-months-per-year stock flow.

Maison Scotch spring/summer 2016
Maison Scotch spring/summer 2016

Tell me about your loyalty program for retailers. What is it all about and how are you going to make it more accessible?
There are a couple of examples. We have a great SIS program in which we guide our clients into a very fluent Scotch& Soda experience in furniture, product merchandising and replenishment coordination to optimize the look and feel of the brand and create a very profitable business structure for our German partners. We have developed a great App tool that can easily show the beneficial of this close partnership. Our app also provides a great B2B tool that is accessible to all our German clients which easily gives access to stock, sees availabilities and makes you reorder in our improved NooS stock very easy. Our dedicated customer care team in Germany is fully focused on giving the best service on delivery, monitoring sell out optimization and replenishment coordination. These are just a couple of the loyalty tools we are optimizing as we speak.