Salsa Jeans rediscovers core identity with global expansion goals

Salsa Jeans rediscovers core identity with global expansion goals

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Established in 1994 as a denim-centric company, Salsa

Being able to transform an idea into a garment in the same day, thanks to the consolidated infrastructure of its industrial unit in Famalicão, is one of the brand’s greatest strengths. – Fotografia: Estela Ataíde/FashionNetwork

As it stands on the brink of celebrating its 30th anniversary, the Portuguese brand, currently operating in over 40 countries with more than 190 proprietary stores and a presence in over 1200 multi-brand spaces, is eager to expand into new geographic regions and strengthen its presence in the markets where it is already established. According to CEO Hugo Martins, this expansion hinges on a return to the company’s roots: “We wished to proudly acknowledge that we are a Portuguese denimwear brand.”

Growing in current markets and exploring new horizons

In Salsa Jeans’ forthcoming expansion blueprint, the brand is placing a significant wager on expanding into Latin America and further fortifying its presence in the European market, with a specific emphasis on achieving a “more significant presence” in Scandinavia and Eastern Europe.

Additionally, the company aims to double its number of stores in the Middle East over the next three years. This strategic move makes sense, considering the importance of this region in Salsa Jeans’ business landscape. Currently, the brand’s top-performing stores are situated in Dubai, with its Gran Vía store in Madrid taking third place. The first step in this direction was taken just a few days ago, with the inauguration of a new point of sale at the Red Sea

Operating from offices in Portugal and France, a 14,000-square-meter logistics center, and a multidisciplinary team of over 1200 employees, Salsa Jeans currently considers Portugal, Spain, and France as its most robust markets, accounting for 30%, 28%, and 26% of its sales, respectively. However, the company envisions Spain as becoming its primary market.

72% of Salsa Jeans sales come from women’s collections – Fotografia: Salsa Jeans

Omnichannel strategy

With a turnover of 200 million euros in 2022, a 17% increase compared to the previous year, the brand structures its development around a balanced distribution across various sales channels. Currently, both the retail and multi-brand channels contribute 37% of sales, while department stores account for 13%, and discounts make up 8%. Nevertheless, Hugo Martins contends that outside the country, the multi-brand channel is gaining importance.

In Ireland, for instance, the brand exclusively operated through the multi-brand channel for over 15 years, and this summer, it opened its first two proprietary stores, exclusively dedicated to its women’s range. Women remain the target audience for the Portuguese brand’s expansion, as 72% of Salsa Jeans sales come from women’s collections, as opposed to 28% from men’s offerings. Martins underscores that Salsa Jeans is “clearly a women’s brand,” and it’s with this segment that the brand is entering new markets.

Denim as the central focus

While the brand’s sales are quite evenly balanced between denim and non-denim items (52% denim and 48% non-denim), denim is once again at the heart of Salsa Jeans’ strategy. Headquartered in Famalicão, where it boasts an industrial center encompassing laundry, dyeing, and special finishing, the company’s forte lies in its ability to transform an idea into a garment in the same day, thanks to the consolidated infrastructure. The CEO underscores that this organization enables the brand to “offer a highly diverse range of pants every year.”

Piece from Salsa Jeans’ capsule collection with Siza Vieira, one of the brand’s latest launches – Fotografia: Salsa Jeans

‘Jeans for Everyone’ is, in fact, one of the brand’s four core values, underscoring the idea that “there’s a pair of Salsa Jeans for every body type and every occasion.”

Furthermore, there are three additional pillars guiding the company’s strategy: ‘Proudtuguese’ a concept linked to the brand’s pride in being Portuguese, which has recently materialized in collaborations like the collection with architect Siza Vieira; ‘Craftsmanship’, referring to the artisans working in all phases of crafting a pair of Salsa Jeans, from pattern to finishing; and lastly, ‘People & Planet’, incorporating the company’s sustainability initiatives, including its Infinity project, focused on garment repair.

These are the pillars of a brand that, ultimately, sells much more than jeans, as Martins aptly concluded: “We don’t sell jeans, we sell confidence. What our jeans do is provide an extra boost of confidence.”

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