Fashion brand Lindex’s director of franchise, Johan Isacson, talks about winning the Best Emerging Franchise award
Lindex was founded in Sweden in 1954 and was initially launched as a lingerie company, but over the years has added women’s, kidswear and beauty products to the mix. Following significant growth in Scandinavia, the brand launched its international franchise program in 2008 and has expanded to 460 stores in 18 markets, boasting collaborations with celebrities like Gwyneth Paltrow and Reese Witherspoon.
GF: What’s the idea behind Lindex?
JI: Lindex is one of Europe’s leading fashion retailers, offering great quality and affordable fashion for the fashion savvy and conscious female. We offer several different concepts within womenswear, kidswear, lingerie and cosmetics. Lindex has a sustainability promise with clear goals – they are to make a difference for future generations by empowering women, respecting the planet and ensuring human rights.
GF: What attributes, in your opinion, helped Lindex to claim this award?
JI: The culture within our company, our 5,000 dedicated colleagues and our enthusiastic franchise partners, who all work together to deliver consistency and strength across all areas of Lindex.
GF: What does it mean to the brand to claim this prize?
JI: It’s an honor to receive an award like this, especially when it’s handed over from industry experts and we were in competition on a global level with such worthy nominees. It’s seen as recognition for everyone working at Lindex and reflects many years of hard work.
GF: How international is Lindex?
JI: Lindex has around 460 stores in 18 markets today, of which nine markets are operated by franchise partners. Our online sales are now worldwide, operating through third-party partnerships, as well as market online platforms. Our franchise markets extend from Iceland and Denmark to Tunisia, Qatar and Saudi Arabia.
GF: What’s the secret behind the brand’s growth?
JI: We understand and respect the different cultures within each market in which we trade. We also build strong relationships with our franchise partners and do not differentiate between our partners’ businesses and Lindex corporate. The trust behind our partners and Lindex is very strong – their problems are our problems, their success is our success.
GF: What about the Lindex offering appeals to prospective investors?
JI: We offer potential partners an attractive business proposition. We are aware that when a partner opens Lindex stores in a new market, it is also our responsibility to make it work. Since we launched our franchise program we are proud to say that no partner has left the company; that’s the best reference we can give.
GF: What are you looking for in an investor?
JI: It depends on the market. Basic knowledge of retail is a must, but we also love to work with partners who show real passion and have a clear vision of their future.
MEET THE JUDGE
The Best Emerging Franchise award is not judged by our entire core expert panel but by Brad Fishman of Fishman PR, who has decades of experience working with emerging brands and runs the emerging franchise-centered event, Franchise Springboard.