lightspeed ecommerce

Nelly’s next step: geographic expansion

Things are going well with Nelly, the Swedish online fashion retailer. The ecommerce company is expanding outside of Europe and it thinks that sales of its own labels will grow to account for as much as 40% of total revenue. And the fact the competition is pushing more and more online, won’t hurt Nelly’s business. The more people shopping online, the merrier!

That’s the thrust of the story that CEO Magnus Månsson told during an interview at Nelly’s headquarters in southern Sweden, as The Business of Fashion reports. Because for some it may be concerning huge online fashion companies like Inditex and H&M are expanding their online offerings, (while there’s also strong competition from players like Asos and but this online push is likely to benefit Nelly as it draws more people to online shopping, Månsson says.

One way it could benefit Nelly is if its own brands are performing better. And that may be happening, Månsson thinks. Nelly’s own brands, like Estradeur and NLY Eve, now account for about 30 percent of total sales, but this number will probably rise to 35 to 40 percent in coming years.

Expanding to other countries
Nelly, which has its own website in eleven European countries, started shipping goods to more than 60 markets outside the European Union, such as the United States, South Africa, Australia and Singapore. Sales have grown sixty times since 2007, the year it started to expand into other countries like the United Kingdom, France and Germany. “And now we have the opportunity to take the next step and that’s geographic expansion”, Månsson says. Opening a physical flagship store might also be something happening in the (near) future.

Party dresses and party shoes are among the best-selling items for Nelly. That’s not really a surprise if you know that womens wear make up for about 90% of total sales. The online fashion retailer regularly does a night-club tour branded “Nelly high-heels party”, where it gives away free shoes. This event will be expanded to other markets in Europe. Last month there were several of such events in the Netherlands and in November they will be held in Finland.

Nelly started off as an underwear subscription business in 2004 and is a unit of CDON Group AB.

UPDATE April 9, 2014: CDON Group B today announced local beta-versions of and in Poland.