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Profile of IC Companys: a Multi-Branded Approach to Fashion Retail
published in Issue 126, November-December 2006
IC Companys, based in Denmark, is one of the largest clothing retailers in northern Europe. It was formed in 2001 through the merger of two companies operating primarily in the mid-price segment of the European fashion retailing industry.
Since 2001, the company has capitalised on the growing popularity of Danish clothing designs, particularly in Europe, by expanding internationally at a rapid pace. As a result of a number of Scandinavia-based acquisitions, the company has almost doubled the number of brands in its portfolio—from six in 2001 to 11 in 2006.
At the same time, its customer base has grown and diversified as the company has increased the number of price segments in which it operates. Reflecting the success of these activities, IC Companys enjoyed an increase in sales of 16% between 2003/04 and 2005/06—from Dkr2.61 bn to Dkr3.02 bn (US$489 mn).
In contrast to its competitors, such as H&M and Zara—who have focused on store expansion to boost sales and earnings—IC Companys has been concentrating on enhancing the appeal and the profitability of its brands.
Because IC Companys claims to have a keen understanding of its customers, the company believes that it is one of a select group of international fashion retailers who are able to capitalise on a distinctive clothing concept. The concept encompasses a range of Scandinavian-inspired clothing which is characterised by simplicity, functionality and innovation.
IC Companys is confident that its multi-brand strategy will enable it to continue to achieve double-digit percentage increases in sales and earnings over the next two years.
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