Baltika expanded to Serbian market
In March, Baltika Group opened its first store in Novi Sad, Serbia. With more than 10 years of franchise provider experience, Baltika Group created Monton AndMore, a new retail concept, for expanding to new markets and being even more competitive on an international level. In 2016, export made up nearly 60% of Baltika Group’s sales revenue, i.e. EUR 26.5 million in total.
Novi Sad is the second largest city in Serbia after Belgrade. It is the capital of the autonomous province of Vojvodina and the centre of the South Bačka district. Approximately 400,000 people live in the region.
Negotiations with the Serbian franchise provider Victoria Elegans s.o.o started more than a year ago. In the course of preparations, the Baltika team visited the Serbian partner and the Serbs visited Estonia to see Baltika’s collections and its retail network of 45 brand stores. Baltika’s new franchise partner is an experienced retailer which belongs to the Elixir Group founded in 1998 and employs more than 720 people. Victoria Elegans sought out Baltika Group because Baltika’s brands offer high-quality collections with a distinctive handwriting which clearly stand out in the Serbian market.
“Expanding to new foreign markets through franchise partners is one of the most important strategic directions for Baltika Group. Although we are rather experienced as a franchise provider, entry into a new market still poses numerous challenges. We have quite a lot of work to do with our new franchise partner in order to achieve success in the second largest city of Serbia,” said Lea Endrikson, Head of Wholesale and Franchising of Baltika Group.
Endrikson added that although Serbia is mainly known as the largest agricultural country in the Balkan region, Serbian clothing industry has great development potential and that is the reason why Baltika Group decided to open its new concept store in this market. “We are glad that our Serbian franchise partner is experienced in retail trade and has a strong financial background. Together with this partner, we are planning to expand in Serbia and, if we’re successful, also to other Balkan countries,” Lea Endrikson added, but also emphasised that as Monton, Mosaic and Bastion are unknown in the Serbian market, a marketing plan must first be carried out and awareness of the new brands and a place of purchase must be created through positive customer experience.
Baltika Group’s newest retail concept Monton AndMore aims to combine the strengths of the individual fashion brands of Baltika Group. The new Novi Sad store in Serbia differs from all the other stores, covering 712 m2 of floor space and spanning three storeys. The collections of Monton, Mosaic and Bastion brands are represented at the store. The new retail concept has been developed by Baltika’s development team in Estonia.