Stockmann’s subsidiary AB Lindex entered into a franchising partnership with the Chinese company Suning in September 2013. Suning has now unilaterally withdrawn from the franchising agreement. Stockmann and Lindex will evaluate the legal consequences of Suning’s announcement. The withdrawal is not estimated to have a significant effect on Stockmann’s earnings for 2014, since the store openings were planned to take place mainly from 2015 onwards.
International expansion and franchising operations hold a key position in Lindex’s strategy to become a global fashion brand. Lindex will investigate other opportunities to expand into the Chinese market, which continues to offer promising prospects for the fashion business. Suning’s withdrawal will, however, delay Lindex’s entry to the market.
“We are convinced that Lindex’s successful fashion concept will attract Chinese customers. Our concept has proven to be a success in all the markets in which we currently operate. We will now look into new ways to enter the market,” says Göran Bille, CEO of Lindex.
Lindex currently has 443 own stores in 10 countries and 33 franchising stores through four franchising partners in six countries: Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, Croatia, and Iceland.