Blue Storks hails success of Dutch brand CLUSE; outlines travel retail growth plan
Travel retail agency Blue Storks has hailed the success of its watches and jewellery brand CLUSE.
According to Blue Storks, CLUSE travel retail sales have increased +100% year-on-year. As a result of this growth, Blue Storks has appointed three new team members to support the brand’s development in duty free and travel retail.
CLUSE currently has over 45 POS in airports and plans to increase this to almost 80 by the end of 2018. It works with the following travel retailers: Heinemann, Dufry, IDF, Lagardère Travel Retail, Kappé, Kaner Duty Free and Welcome Trading.
The Dutch brand is also aiming to grow its inflight business with the introduction of new inflight-exclusive packs. CLUSE is currently available on 45 airlines and has recently achieved new listings on a number of African and Middle Eastern airlines, such as South African Airlines, Kenya Airways, Gulf Air and Middle East Airlines.
CLUSE’s other airline partners include KLM, Eurowings, AirAsia, Aegean Airlines, Thomas Cook Airlines and Finnair.
At the end of 2017, CLUSE partnered with its ambassador Negin Mirsalehi to create a special jewellery collection pack design. The Amsterdam-born influencer has more than 4.5 million followers on Instagram. CLUSE said the pack resulted in ‘incredible’ sales.
A statement from CLUSE said: “This upcoming year we will be adding new items to our jewellery collection. We’ve just launched our necklaces online and will complete the collection by adding earrings and rings. Since the great growth of the company we’re moving to a new CLUSE office in Amsterdam this summer. Last year we opened an office in Hong Kong which is where our main focus will be in 2018, since we see great opportunity and our popularity grow in Asia.”
Gebr. Heinemann Watches & Jewellery Buyer Friederike Punte said: “The CLUSE brand was introduced into the Gebr. Heinemann portfolio at the end of 2016. Within less than a year the brand is doing very well and is currently ranking among the top fashion brands.
“One factor for its success is that CLUSE is easy to implement in travel retail outlets. The appealing range and the clear visual merchandising guidelines speak for themselves; this enables our staff to easily sell the brand to our travelling clientele. Its quick growth, in part due to the extensive online initiatives, has certainly helped the brand in gaining popularity.
“In 2018, we are looking forward to strengthening the partnership with CLUSE via Blue Storks, by optimising the assortment and working together even closer. We are convinced that this will bring about positive results.”
Blue Storks’ portfolio of brands includes: Komono, Ögon, Paul Hewitt, Izipizi, Happy Socks and Ice-Watch.
[Blue Storks Managing Partner Frederik Westelinck summarises the company’s 2017 developments in the above video]
The company, founded in 2014, reported +75% sales growth to €28 million in 2017. This increase was led by Ögon (+40%) and triple-digit gains from Happy Socks, CLUSE and Ice-Watch.
By 2020, Blue Storks said it aims to generate €75 million in travel retail sales.
Blue Storks Managing Partners Frederik Westelinck and Arnaud Fauvarque* said: “The focus for 2018 is to strengthen the relationship with clients in EMEA and to further develop the American and APAC markets. The brands that Blue Storks represent are typically strong in Europe but are getting more popular in APAC and Americas. It is our role to follow and contribute to their growth.
“In order to manage the growth and offer a good service to our current customers, the company has welcomed three new members to the team in 2017 and has heavily invested in a new Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP).
“We are eager to face the challenges and opportunities that 2018 will bring and help our partners thrive in this unique market.”
*NOTE: Click here to read a Ten Easy Pieces feature with Arnaud Fauvarque.