Want to streamline your fashion logistics? Find out why the Benelux is the destination of choice for Nordic brands in this must-read article.
From chunky jumpers to statement prints, it’s fair to say that Nordic and Scandinavian fashion has taken Europe by storm over the past decade. But if you’re an ambitious Nordic fashion brand that has already conquered its home market, where should you look for growth? It might be time to consider expanding across Europe! But to make the most of this key market, choosing the right location for your logistics operations is vital. And for many Nordic fashion brands, there’s one clear winner: the Benelux region. Below are four reasons why.
Reason 1: Easier access to Europe
The Benelux region, comprising Belgium, the Netherlands, and Luxembourg, is well known as a central hub for multimodal logistics, offering simplified access to several lucrative European markets. Brands that relocate their logistics operations to the Benelux region can streamline fulfilment, improve delivery times and better serve their growing customer bases.
Europe is home to some of the most lucrative apparel markets in the world, such as the UK, France and Germany. While the apparel market for the Nordic countries is currently valued at USD 26.65 billion, the total European apparel market is valued at USD 484.20 billion. So, keeping your fulfilment operations in the Nordic region may limit your growth potential.
Nordic brands that have reaped the benefits of European expansion include Swedish fashion superstar H&M, which operates distribution centres in Tilburg and Nieuwegein in the Netherlands, and Mons in Belgium. Another example is the Danish company Bestseller1, which owns popular fashion brands such as Vero Moda and Jack & Jones and lifestyle giant JYSK2.
Reason 2: Faster fulfilment
Relocating your logistics operations to the Benelux region effectively puts the entire European market within 24-hour reach. Choosing such a strategic location for your fulfilment operations can help you improve customer satisfaction through faster delivery times. So, why does the Benelux region offer such attractive fulfilment opportunities?
The secret is its consistently excellent infrastructure. The Netherlands tops the DHL Global Connectedness Index, closely followed by Belgium and Luxembourg. Thanks to its high-quality, integrated transport infrastructure, the Benelux region allows you to expand your European presence without ever compromising on customer service.
But moving your logistics operations from the Nordics to the Benelux region doesn’t have to mean compromising on the service delivered to your existing Nordic customers. In many cases, Benelux-based logistics operations allow you to achieve next-day delivery to Nordic markets, ensuring that you keep your valuable Nordic customers happy.
Reason 3: Supply chain resilience
As logistics networks become more vulnerable to disruption, building resilience is critical. Benelux-based operations can help you achieve this. “The more centralised your distribution centre, the more agility you can incorporate into your planning,” explains Siebrand Wiltjer, Key Account Manager and Sales Supervisor at Bleckmann “If one transport route is unavailable, the Benelux region’s excellent infrastructure gives you plenty of alternatives.”
Similarly, for Nordic brands looking further afield for growth, the Benelux region offers efficient transport links to markets around the world, such as the USA and Asia. The region offers access to a wide range of sea and air connections, with world-class hubs such as Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport and the Port of Rotterdam, Europe’s largest seaport.
Reason 4: Reduced carbon footprint
By centralising fulfilment operations in ‘the logistics heart of Europe’, it is possible to achieve significant sustainability gains. “This is because the more central your distribution centres are, the more efficiently you can deliver orders to consumers,” Siebrand continues. “This results in fewer miles travelled overall, which reduces the total amount of greenhouse gases emitted.”
Time to expand?
Relocating your logistics operations to the Benelux region could be the catalyst you’re looking for to kick-start your European expansion strategy. If you’d like to find out why so many Nordic fashion brands are choosing this region, contact us today for a free consultation. We’ll explain in detail how you can save money and boost your brand by relocating your logistics operations.