[Nettavisen:] "There is a series of bankruptcy in the fashion industry and other industries in the future." Only the traders who have followed the hour will survive, "said Ola Mæle, investor and co-owner of the Follestad fashion chain, to Nettavisen.
Mælle has been in a Norwegian fashion industry for almost 40 years. First as one of the founders behind Bik Bok, and Poco Loco. Then with the Voice Europe company and the Match, Vic and Boys of Europe chain concepts.
After a decade of rest, he's back in the industry as a Follestad chain owner.
– These will die
They wait for a sudden throw of clothes shops and other shops in the next few years. Several chains have already become bankrupt, such as PM, simple Life and Spent, while others put down a large number of shops.
– Someone has managed to find a place and adapt to the changes, but a great deal disappears. Those who have no clear profile or not betting online will die, says Mæle.
However, it does not believe it is mainly due to the competition of online stores.
"E-commerce is a challenge, although the biggest problem in the industry in recent years has not been e-commerce, but over-completing the stores. It's been huge, says Mæle , who believes there are too many clothes stores in Norway now.
"It's not just a fashion, it's about equipment, sports, shoes, inside, and about this. In Norway, we have two as many trading areas for all residents like other European countries , "he said.
As well as bankruptcies, the fashion neighbors believe that the large chains will reduce the number of shops.
"I'm expecting the big, national players to reduce the number of stores suddenly in the future, but in the long run, we just wait for the wait," says Mæle. This leaflet to go fast.
– It's like building houses. If the market goes down, every man pulls on the brake immediately. In two or three years, we've probably seen a great deal of adjustment in the industry, he said.
He believes that those who are most vulnerable are those who have a blurred profile.
"In many cases, you can also go to Zara and get the equivalent items for half price. Those who do not change, they're dead, he says.
Jeans and wearing
He draws specialist stores about Yme, who specialize in sneakers as an example of shops that have managed to find a niche. The same is true for established fashion stores such as Retro or Bogart in Trondheim. There are shops with a profile that can remind you of Follestad.
"Follestad numbers are quality products for growing and young men. We sell at low prices, but at a fair price. With us, the suit costs around 5,000 kroner, versus 25,000 at Nedre Slottsgate, where you can find real luxury shops, "said Mæle.
Follestad is an attractive colony, which is the fashion of men, the segment with the strongest growth in recent years.
– Men's fashion has increased, but that's because it comes from zero. says Measure and laugh.
"Men in my father's grandson went in a hat, coat, dress and that's all. Now men have become more concerned about clothing. We currently sell many brand jackets such as Uber, Parajumpers and Canada Goose .
It does not believe that growth will slow down with the first one.
"There are still new products and new segments, the fashion industry needs to have news every time. I, who have been so long, sees the same thing happening again. how it's in the fashion business, "the same boy, a new wrap," said Mæle, smiling again.
From 250 shops to no
When Mæle started in the late 1970's in the fashion industry, clothes shops dominated the street scene, and their own fashion was not found for young people.
He changed when Mæle and four other Bik Bok group partners started with brands such as Bik Bok, Poco Loco, Little Lino and Poco Classico.
At the same time, new competitors came, especially Swedish and Danish low price chains such as Hennes and Mauritz and Vera Moda. These chains are now present in most markets, while former traders, as previously dominated, disappear.
"When I started in the clothing industry, we had Samtex, Qualitex, Herrcon, Contex, Texpartner and the Teksil chain. This had bored with 100-200 shops in each. Now almost everyone has gone, except Texcon, says Mæle .
Even control Per lost over the Bic Book group in the late eighties. Voice Europe and the combinations of the Match, Vic and Boys of Europe began with clothing brands such as Jean Paul and Henry Choice.
He went into the coolest
The chain sold to the Olav Nils Sunde Line entrepreneur in 2003, but it was made back in the fashion industry in 2014, when it took over 50 percent of the shares in Follestad.
It happened after Bengt Follestad and the son of William looked after an investor in connection with changing generations.
"When I was working at Voice, Follestad was the best traders I knew. When I was going to show Bengt's collection, he already knew exactly what it should be She had no interest in buying anything else. I realized that there was full control. Then I'm in, says Mæle and laugh again.
Follestad 11 stores now in Greater Oslo. They have no plans to expand to other parts of Norway, but look at the possibility of going to Sweden.
"In Stockholm there is a Stockholm-based Ströms store, which translates 100 million kroner to one store, so it's obviously tempting, but it's a great step for us to go to Sweden We have to find the right reason, "said Mæle.