Aerosoles is making a fresh start in several European countries. The European licensee of the U.S. brand, Move On, has decided to cover directly Spain and Portugal, where it was previously working through distributors, starting with the spring/summer 2015 season. It has also set up a showroom in the Bella Center of Copenhagen, run by Peter Hauge, to take orders directly from retailers all over Scandinavia.
Move On has also changed the distribution in the German-speaking countries, which were previously handled by Carwalk. Under an agreement signed in March, Bugs is taking care of these markets and Luxembourg from the autumn/winter 2014/15 season.
Move On is currently in the planning stages to open new stores in Greece, Italy and the U.K. It is in negotiations to open several mono-brand stores in France on a franchise basis, based on a new store concept which is being introduced to all the 25 existing Aerosoles stores in Portugal, Spain and other parts of Europe between August and September. The French market, where Aerosoles previously had many stores, is already handled directly from Portugal. There are currently only four franchised stores in the country.
After investing half a million euros in the development of the product by introducing new technologies and new product categories, some of which are being shared with the U.S. company, Fernando Brogueira, general manager of Move On, says he expects to double the brand's sales in Europe in 2014 as compared to 2013, without mentioning any figures. According to a report in the Portuguese press, its sales grew by 24 percent in the first half of this year to €8 million.
Due to increasing demand, Aerosoles doubled its production in Portugal, hiring 50 new employees to work in Move On's factory in Portugal in the first half of this year. Some of the Portuguese-made models have also been adopted by Aerogroup, the U.S.-based owner of the Aerosoles brand name, for distribution in the U.S.
Some styles continue to be made in India. Working through the Indian sales network of the Tata Group, which acquired a controlling interest in Move On in 2012, Aerosoles is also being introduced in the Indian market, starting with only a few models from the European collection. The first deliveries took place in April.
Tata was said to have shown interested in taking over Aerogroup as well, but as we reported in June, the company has been taken over by Palladin Consumer Retail Partners, an American investment fund.