GIG: KORRES has taken Greek herbs around the world to 30 countries. Can you tell us about your recent performance? What investment plans do you have?
Korres: 2018 marks the successful completion of intensive growth and a restructuring plan that set the ground for a milestone in the KORRES group’s history – an investment agreement with Morgan Stanley and Profex that takes the brand to new dynamic international territories. With the group’s international sales increasing by 17% in 2018, accounting for 47% of consolidated sales, the further enhancing of our global expansion prospects remains our strategic focus throughout 2019.
GIG: Which are your strongest markets?
Korres: The U.S., Norway, the UK, France, Germany, and, of course, Greece are our priority markets. In 2019 our global network expanded with yet another priority market for us, China. It is an emerging power in the cosmetics sector that often sets trends in this market and that has great potential for the KORRES brand, which was successfully launched there in the second semester of 2018. KORRES ranked among the top-performing new entries in the Tmall Global online platform, the biggest online ‘department store’ in the Chinese market.
GIG: What does Morgan Stanley taking a stake in KORRES mean for the company?
Korres: This strategic agreement equals growth and global expansion into dynamic markets of great size and prospects. Having completed 23 years of activity in the natural cosmetics industry, our strategic bet is to strengthen our international presence and to establish KORRES as a global brand. Having onboard a strong global financial partner such as Morgan Stanley and a strong operational partner in China – Profex – is quite a rare achievement.
GIG: You were among the first Greek companies to really expand abroad while others were content to stay within the country’s borders. What advice do you have for the many Greek companies now battling for market share abroad?
Korres: Innovate, prioritise, persist; have a unique product and a unique story to tell; concentrate on markets and channels that fit the product’s positioning; don’t expect overnight success; don’t believe that getting your products on the shelves equals success.
Actually, this is when the real effort begins.