New York shoes and accessories brand Steve Madden opens their first own sales office in Europe. Being present in Europe for the past years only through distributors, the company has now stepped into a joint venture with Netherlands-based brand SPM Shoetrade to join forces for their Europe expansion. As an objective for the future, the brand is trying to increase their businesses via their new office in the Netherlands. Ed Rosenfeld, CEO Steve Madden USA explains why.

Why do you think the time is ripe to overtake the brand’s distribution on your own together with a partner instead of working with distributors? 

Consumer demand for the brand in Europe has increased dramatically over the past few years, and so we thought the time was right to accelerate our growth in the region.  By operating the business directly with our joint venture partner rather than through a distributor, we’re able to better control the merchandising and overall brand positioning in the market.

What concrete plans do you have for the European market in terms of positioning, prizing etc.?

The brand’s positioning and pricing in Europe will mirror that in the United States.

That means concrete? Which markets are in the focus and what’s your expansion strategy? Growing over wholesale or own retail?

Our strategy includes wholesale, retail and e-commerce distribution.  Continuing to expand our wholesale distribution throughout Europe is a priority, as is our online shop, which we are re-launching this Fall. We are also opening franchised stores in Eastern Europe this Fall and are in talks with other potential franchise partners about stores in Germany and a number of other European countries.

What’s the USP of the brand and what distinguishes Steve Madden from other brands?

Steve Madden is the only footwear brand that offers true designer styling at accessible price points.  Steve himself is renowned for his innate understanding of trends and his uncanny sense for what consumers will want next.  His ability to create trend-right collections season after season has made Steve Madden the preferred brand for fashion-forward women and men around the world.