The Aldo Group, a Montreal-based Canadian footwear company, is growing rapidly. Of the 1,500 stores worldwide, around 1000 are in Canada, the US, the UK and Ireland. The remaining 500 operate in conjunction with local franchise partners in 56 countries around the world. The company operates under six different fascias. The main fascia is the Aldo brand - a mid-priced fashion footwear brand aimed at customers aged 18-35 – seeking aspirational yet accessible footwear.|
In Canada, the Aldo Group also operates a brand called Spring, aimed at the 15-25 age range, with a price point 25-30 per cent less than the Aldo brand; and a brand called Locale aimed at the more mature but still fashion conscious customer. The group also operate a stand-alone accessories chain called Aldo Accessories; a multi-brand footwear chain called Little Burgundy which sells various young fashion brands; and a family concept called Globo which is an out-of-town big box store. Jaskolka says: “Over the six fascias in Canada we have approximately 500 stores – a very large penetration in the market. In the US, with approximately 450 stores, we operate Aldo, Aldo Accessories and Spring. We are the only Canadian retailer who has succeeded in the US.
“In the UK and Ireland we operate approximately 35 Aldo stores. In the rest of the world we operate with local franchise partners under the fascias Aldo, Aldo Accessories and Spring.”
The Aldo Group is opening around 100 new franchised stores a year and has plenty planned for the future. The most recent openings for the group include Honduras, Spain, Malta, Libya, Sengal, Ivory Coast, The Congo, Mauritius and Kazakhstan. In 2011 the company is already planning on expanding in Asia and opening in Ecuador, Italy, Norway, Sweden, and several western European countries – including some of the larger markets.
>“I look at the world with the view that there’s no country that we can’t exist in,” Jaskolka says. “When we look at a new region we assess the number of people, the number of malls and streets, and other retailers, and that gives us an idea of how many of our stores that market can support. Normally a region needs to have the potential of having 10 stores.
“Our international expansion started in the Middle East and we entered the market as it developed and so we were able to quickly access real estate and grow with the market and become a market leader much quicker than going into a mature, established market.
“Making a few initial market entry errors, we were able to learn and improve our support and franchise models and infrastructure. We did the learning where the impact and errors would be least felt.
“We are now looking at the larger markets; The France and Germany’s of the world will be in our next stage of development.”
One of the unique selling points of the brand is its approach to countries with reverse seasons. Unlike many of its competitors, the group adapts it model – and its products – to its audience.
For the full article please see the RLI December February 2011 issue