The Danish fashion retailer Bestseller, which is the company behind brands such as Vero Moda and Jack & Jones, has been making the headlines – both for its international expansion and its CSR efforts.
The company is already enjoying success in China, where female employees play a dominant role, DR reports, and it is now eyeing the American market. On April 10, the company ran a campaign called Give-A-Day where everything that was spent by Bestseller customers worldwide was donated to charity.
Women dominating Chinese operation
Bestseller is one of the biggest Danish success stories in China to date, with 6,500 stores spread across 400 cities. Of the company’s 80,000 employees, 90 percent are women.
Allan Warburg told DR that this proportion also applied to women in leadership roles. “There’s no doubt that Bestseller would never have achieved the things it has in China if it hadn’t been for our female employees,” he said.
“It’s a great pleasure to work with Chinese women. They work very hard and take their jobs incredibly seriously.”
According to a report by the consultancy Grant Thornton, Bestseller is far from the only company that favours women in top jobs in China. According to the survey, in 2014 some 38 percent of management posts in the country were occupied by women.
Conquering the USA
The next frontier for Bestseller is the USA. The company has already opened a sales office, a webshop and a showroom in Manhattan and plans to get a slice of the 2 trillion kroner a year American fashion market – a similar size to the whole of the EU.
Jerome Rolland, the head of sales for Vero Moda, told Børsen that the company could expect different conditions from the European market. “We have been in Canada for ten years and are using that as a door to the USA,” he said.
“It’s a completely different market compared to Europe and we are focusing in the first instance on big department stores and online sales. We have agreements with some small and medium-sized chains of stores with 10 to 30 shops.”
Bestseller’s Give-A-Day campaign collected 112 million kroner, which will be donated to charities around the world.
Mogens Werge, the company’s head of corporate sustainability and communication, said that it was about giving something back in the communities where Bestseller had success. “At Bestseller we are privileged to be able to make a positive difference for others and the world around us,” he said.
“Therefore, we have decided to give something back to the communities where our customers have helped us grow.”
Among the charities to benefit are Save the Children, Unicef and Gain (the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition).