Isabell Guidastri

Isabell is a consultant with 20+ years of experience in international fashion and beauty brands. She has worked with global powerhouses in branding and retail and her focus is on local and global distribution strategies. Multilingual with an international mind-set, Isabell commutes between Germany and Italy, enjoying the best of both countries.

Spain & Portugal on the Brand Horizon

Is it time for brand expansion to Spain and Portugal? The economic outlook for the Iberian peninsula is currently boosting the confidence of international retailers on the lookout for new opportunities.

Spain and Portugal are back in the mindset of expansion managers! Several international brands are currently revisiting their expansion strategies or considering taking up business in Spain and Portugal. There might even be more opportunities for international brands now than there were before the crises.

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Going Benelux? Done right, a growth opportunity for brands and retailers

What are the challenges and opportunities for brand expansion to Benelux? Learn how to best tap the full potential of the Benelux retail markets.

When considering new regions for brand expansion, Benelux countries may raise concern about their small size as well as the many different languages and other cultural particularities. But taken together, the relatively small countries of Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg represent an often underestimated powerhouse.

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What’s Hot in Global Market Expansion

Global market expansion as a strategic project is constantly evolving. What are the latest trends in terms of country mix, location, and digital disruption?

Despite significant political and economic uncertainty, retailers continue to cross borders into new markets and pursue a global market expansion strategy. However, significant industry and macroeconomic challenges remain for retailers, forcing brands to proceed with caution on their expansion course. While what questions to ask and what choices are best always depends on your particular expansion focus, country mix, location, and digitalisation are factors to take into consideration.  (more…)

Yes, the Italian Market Is on the Rise Again!

Milan’s CityLife Project, dm’s expansion to the Italian retail market and Starbucks’ Reserve Roastery plans indicate a revival of the Italian retail market.

A few months ago, I wrote about an apparent increase in attractiveness of the Italian market for foreign brands and asked, Is the Italian Market on the Rise Again? Meanwhile, Milan has seen a couple of important retail milestones and I would like to give you an update on the Italian retail market.

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Brand Distribution: Why Now Is the Time for Mexico

Reaching a realistic assessment of Mexico’s brand distribution potential

As the second largest retail market in Latin America, Mexico has long been considered an attractive market for international retail brands. With Brazil in recession, Mexico has been able to further improve its position. The country is now on the radar of current and new players seeking to conquer market share. (more…)

Research For Brand Store Growth? Retail Expansion Software May Help!

Looking for retail expansion that really works? Smart software may be one tool out of many to find the perfect store location for your brand.

Reading the press, there isn’t a day without various brands and retailers unveiling and opening new stores in diverse locations all over the world.

According to the 7th edition of CBRE’s annual report “How active are retailers globally?”, retail expansion is continuing by brands to expand their physical store networks, despite several challenges. (more…)

Brand Distribution India – Is the Country Finally Catching Up?

How to find a realistic assessment of the country’s brand distribution potential, for international brands aiming to expand into India.

Reading about brand distribution in India lately, has meant encountering an endless stream of comments filled with superlatives. For example: “India has emerged as the fastest growing major economy in the world” ; “India  has become the second most competitive BRICS economy” ;  ” … the Indian retail sector is poised for tremendous growth” and so on. (more…)

Italy: Attractive Retail Destination for International Brands

It was ‘the’ topic during Milan Fashion Week this spring: Starbucks is going to open its first store in Italy next year. Italy – birthplace of coffee culture and until now a ‘Starbucks-free nation’ – will host the first coffee shop of the Seattle coffee chain, right in downtown Milan! Swiss giant Nestlé first entered Italy in 1999 and opened a Nespresso flagship store (out of 6 worldwide) in Milan last year, now another big player is daring to do the impossible – the equivalent of selling ice to the Eskimos. (more…)