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Centra, a direct-to-consumer and wholesale platform for global brands, has been growing significantly during the pandemic last year. The Swedish company is now aiming for an aggressive, international expansion this year. It has made several new recruitments to achieve this goal.
For Centra, 2020 was a good year. The company, which aims at brands that run global direct-to-consumer and online wholesale operations, welcomed more than 50 new fashion brands on its platform. New clients include Stronger, Craft Sportswear, and Eton Shirts. Now it’s aiming for a strong international expansion during 2021.
Centra aims for a strong international expansion.
In March last year, the Swedish company noticed a short dip, because clients had to quickly adjust and adapt their business to the situation. But since then, more and more fashion and lifestyle brands showed interested in digitizing their sales. According to the company, new clients are mostly digital-born direct-to-consumer brands.
Running out of brands in the Nordics
“After the first Covid-19 wave was over, interest in building global ecommerce solutions increased exponentially. Consumers’ mindsets have changed, and brands are now investing more in the ecommerce part of their business”, CEO Martin Jensen says. “We are very proud that so many great brands choose to collaborate with Centra to scale globally. We’re running out of brands in the Nordics and need to target brands on new international markets to continue our growth goals. Our ultimate goal is to become the world’s greatest DTC/wholesale ecommerce platform for brands, period.”
Brands are now investing more in the ecommerce part of their business.
Centra says the cancelled fashion fairs have resulted in an increased demand for solutions that digitalize sales to retailers. “This is a major contributing factor as to why our digital wholesale solution Showroom has won over so many clients during the past year.”
‘Wholesale lags behind regarding digitization’
“Wholesale is a business area that is lagging behind regarding digitization. It has actually been a bit incomprehensible that, even today, people travel to fairs all over the world to showcase and sell their collections”, Jensen re-action. “Now that these fairs are cancelled, we no longer need to explain why brands that sell to retailers should digitally transform that part of the business too. In the same way as you sell direct-to-consumer digitally today, you can sell direct-to-retail. It’s pretty obvious.”
Centra, founded in 2016, is still bootstrapped and the several new recruitments it will make this year will continue to be financed without external capital. “When we entered 2020, we had an onboarding organization that was dimensioned to handle one go-live every other week. When we now sum up the year, we see that we went live with over one brand per week – a double up from what we planned for”, Jensen explains.
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