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Marimekko Steps Up U.S. Expansion

Lynn Shannahan, presidentLynn Shannahan, president of Marimekko North America, right, with Revman International’s Rich Roman during the opening of the first Marimekko shop-inshop within Crate & Barrel in Manhattan last fall. Revman produces Marimekko’s home textiles.
NEW YORK - Marimekko is continuing to expand its distribution in the United States this year with the opening of a flagship store in Manhattan, a U.S.-based e-commerce site, and extended collaboration with Crate and Barrel.
     Marimekko's also plans to increase its presence in home furnishing stores as well as new retail partnerships for clothing and accessories.
     "We're really pulling it together for a target consumer is predisposed to great design," said Lynn Shanahan, president of Marimekko North America Retail LLC, a subsidiary established in the United States earlier this year. As ceo of brand management firm C2 Group, Shanahan has worked with Marimekko to expand brand penetration in North Ameica.
     The flagship store, set to open this fall, will be located in a historic building, that was formerly known as "The Toy Building" at the corner of 5th Avenue and Broadway on 200 Fifth Avenue.
     The nearly 4,000 square foot sales floor will mirror the recently opened flagship store in Helsinki. While the broad porfolio of Marimekko products will be available at the store, the newest products will be the focus each season. About 50% of the assortment will be apparel, with hard and soft home as well as accessories making up the remainder, Shanahan told HTT.
     "We are design first," she added. "The apparel and home [products] are palettes for the design."
     Marimekko's U.S.-based online shop will be live by this summer. A Marimekko shop will also be added to the Crate and Barrel e-commerce site.
     In addition, Crate and Barrel plans to open more than 20 new Marimekko shop-in-shops over the next three years. The first opened last October in Crate's Broadway store in New York. This spring, shops will be opened in New York (Madison Avenue,) Chicago, Los Angeles and San Francisco.
     "Opening a store of our own in an excellent location in the heart of Manhattan will support our strategy of building Marimekko's profile and strengthening the brand image," said Marimekko president and ceo Mika Ihamuotila. "It is crucially important for us to be able to ensure wide availability of our products but to do so while introducing our customers to the whole world of Marimekko in our own way."

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