Havaianas has opened its largest store in the U.K. at London’s Westfield mall. It is a part of the company’s wider expansion strategy in Europe and the Middle East.
Its plans for next year include doubling the brand’s 155 stores in the EMEA region and entering into markets such as Croatia, Slovenia and Switzerland for the first time.
There will also be further openings in the U.K. in key coastal regions where the brand’s summer spirit is best suited. Havaianas already has retail stores in 27 locations, including Covent Garden and Carnaby Street in London, and in Brighton and Gatwick Airport. It also has a pop-up shop in Selfridges.
According to Merel Warners, Havaianas’ marketing director in the EMEA region, “The majority of business is done euros and the majority of our costs are in euros or in Brazilian reals. So it will really not impact our business significantly. And again, we’ve monitored it, but there is no need of panic at all.”
The addition of other categories is also in the works, in order to establish a full lifestyle brand that can dress people from “toe to top.”
“We will always start with the toes because flip-flops are the basis of all we do, but we are also starting to launch different categories,” Warners said.
The brand has also signed a licensing agreement with the Italian eyewear group Safilo for sunglasses. The inaugural range will launch during the Olympics in Rio next month, followed by a European launch in 2017.
Warners said the company chose Westfield for its millions of annual visitors and brand mix. “As we grow into a global company it’s great to be positioned next to leading fashion and lifestyle brands,” she said.
Warners also said the brand is looking to tap into both domestic consumers who visit the mall, as well as tourists. She drew a comparison with the Havaianas store on Plaza de Catalunya in central Barcelona, which has been successfully drawing locals and tourists since its opening.