Building a strong and highly recognizable image by opening more monobrand stores and launching new product categories while reorganizing its management structure are some of the aims that guide Brazilian sandal brand Havaianas’ worldwide expansion.
By end of August 2018 Havaianas will inaugurate its second and newest concept store in Brazil, in Rio de Janeiro, in Garcia Davila area in Ipanema. This new 300-sq.-meter store is designed by architect Isay Weinfeld, who also created its flagship store in Sao Paolo, in Oscar Freyre Rua. “Architect Weinfeld won many awards after he designed our Sao Paolo store,” says Carla Schmitzberger, global director for the sandals division at Alpargatas, the parent company of Havaianas and Dupé. “As this one is also very innovative and highly inspiring I am sure he will win many other new prizes.”
In addition, Havaianas continues opening stores worldwide, including Europe and Italy. In Milan, it just inaugurated its second store, on Corso Buenos Aires. The new shop measures about 100 sq. meters, and is the fifth opened in Italy (there are two in Rome, one in Florence and one in Riccione). The brand’s Italian network also includes pop-ups (mostly opened for summer in seaside locations) and shop-in-shops at department stores.
Starting from s/s 2018, Havaianas has also launched a line of beachwear Europewide after its debut in Brazil in late 2014. The European collection includes mostly bikinis, T-shirts, boardshorts and men’s bathing suits, bermudas, plus accessories such as bags for a total of about 50 pieces. For the same season it is also launching about 15 sandal models also including styles that can be worn in the city as completed by uppers in eco-leather.
Among the vast series of collabs and capsule collections, in July 2018 the brand will also launch a special flip-flop model designed by British designer Charlotte Olympia celebrating her 10th anniversary.
“We think our brand is synonymous with summer, vacation and a relaxed mood,” continues Schmitzenberger. “For these reasons we are offering more product categories tied to summer–spent at the beach, but also in the city. Similarly also our newly opened stores want convey this holiday mood through our own store’s soundtrack, store fragrance and atmosphere. We have also recently established our Alpargatas Hellas Greek subsidiary based in Athens as there is great growth potential in this country too. We also aim to soon open own stores through Greece, Cyprus and Crete.”
Havaianas is sold in Italy, its main European market, through 2,250 multibrand stores. “Consider that the average ratio of Havaianas pairs bought every year in Western Europe is 18 pairs per every 1,000 inhabitants. There is a huge room for growth here. While in Portugal we count the highest rate of Havaianas sold in Europe (68 pairs sold yearly for every 1,000 inhabitants), differently from Brazil where we sells 200 million pairs of flip-flops, which means that each inhabitant buys an average one pair per year, as Brazil’s population counts 200 million people.”
In 2017 Alpargatas registered BRL3.7 billion sales (about €840 million), 8.7% less than in 2016, due to the drop in revenue operations in the domestic and overseas markets. Out of this total Brazil’s sales account for BRL2.4 billion (65%), Argentina BRL665 million and other international sandals markets for BRL638 million. Out of that BRL638 million, the EMEA region accounts for around 54%, (about 10% of the Alpargatas Group’s net sales), a quota Alpargatas aims to increase through different initiatives. In Europe, Havaianas is present in more than 10,500 wholesale doors and 170 monobrand stores, out of more than 620 worldwide.
Also in terms of organization the company has redesigned the different markets’ management according to five main areas. “In addition to Brazil, Northern America and EMEA we have added Latin America and Asia-Pacific areas. These five areas will be managed vertically through three different functions in terms of global marketing, financial planning and analysis, and global production and innovation. This last one is keenly focused on developing new categories, new colors and new strategic plans as we want to increase our international expansion,” adds Schmitzberger.