Bershka was created in 1998, as a new store and fashion concept of the Spanish group Inditex, aimed at a young target market.
Bershka presents itself as a reference point for fashion targeting this increasingly demanding public and, in just 2 years, has consolidated its brand image in 100 shops; Today, after 18 years, the chain has more than 1000 stores in over 70 markets, with sales that represent 9% of the total revenue for the whole group. Bershka’s customer base is characterized by adventurous young people, who are aware of the latest trends and are interested in music, social networks and new technologies.
In order to always have the latest trends at the shop; Bershka uses its flexible business model to adapt to any changes occurring during the seasons, responding to them by bringing new products to the shops within the shortest possible time. The models for each season are developed entirely by their creative teams, who take as their main source of inspiration the fashion trends prevailing in the market, through information received from the shops, as well as the customers themselves. The Bershka design team consists of more than 60 professionals who are continuously assessing the needs, desires and demands of consumers, and offering more than 4,000 different products in their shops each year.
Bershka shops are distinguished throughout the world by their strategic location and well-detailed architecture. The establishments are converted into spacious trend-setting showcases with carefully thought through image extending from the windows to the arrangement of the goods inside. Bershka selects the best commercial sites in each city and positions itself in the most notable areas of the main shopping centres. Unique buildings are often chosen, which the Bershka architectural studio refurbishes and adapts to its brand image and philosophy. Music, screens, projections, modern graphics, fashionable colours, contemporary furniture design, state-of-the-art lighting and so on, are all features that turn Bershka into a shopping ‘experience’. The shop’s interior is designed to give maximum importance to displaying fashion. The layout, music, lighting, furniture, graphics and the materials used have been designed and carefully chosen to provide maximum freedom to customers as they discover the latest fashion trends.
Striving to be leader in youth-culture clothing, Bershka shops are designed to be appealing to young people in a space where they feel comfortable, which means the shops are fun. While browsing, choosing and trying on clothes, they can listen to the latest music and check out urban art trends displayed in the graphics and photo sessions featured in the shop decoration. Bershka attaches great importance to its windows, displaying the most important items of the collection and the predominant theme to its public. The windows are constantly being renewed every season and the garments match the style of the shop’s interior, reflecting the trends of the whole season. The new Bershka shop concept transforms the entire shopping space into a
shop window, leaving a large glass front that allows the whole shop and complete collection to be seen.
The shops have separate spaces intended for the various different product lines that Bershka offers. The area dedicated to women’s wear is the most important. This section has two product lines: Bershka and BSK. The first focuses on the latest fashion and includes the leading trends. It has a wide range of jeans wear, eveningwear, casual wear and latest fashion-wear. BSK is the brand for younger people, and always caters to the interests and needs of this segment by basing its collection on their taste in music, their idols, rock stars and so on. The men’s section offers much more than fashionable jeans wear for young people. This product line offers casual, sports and fashion wear as well. In addition, apart from the wide range of clothing, Bershka also offers a wide range of accessories and footwear.
Through its business model, Bershka aims to help the sustainable development of society and the environment with which it interacts. Commitment to the Environment is included in the Corporate Responsibility policy of the Inditex group.
The brand is developing an ‘eco-efficient’ shop management model, by integrating sustainability and efficiency criteria, which will allow for a reduction in energy consumption of 20%. This management model proposes measures in all processes, from designing the store, installing lighting, heating or cooling systems, to the possible recycling of furniture and decoration. It is reducing the production of waste and we recycle. Recycling hangers or alarms, which are collected at the shops and processed to become other plastic items, is an example of waste management. Millions of hangers and alarms are processed every year. Additionally, both the cardboard and the plastic used in the packaging are recycled.
Bershka supports organic farming and uses organic cotton in selected garments (100% cotton, completely free of pesticides, chemicals and bleaches). Finding them in the shop will be easy, as they bear a distinctive label.
The Bershka lorry fleet, which carries over 200 million garments each year, uses 5% biodiesel fuel. This measure allows for the reduction of over 500 tonnes of CO2 emissions into the atmosphere.
The annual revenues of the Spanish giant Inditex (the company that owns Bershka) reached 25.34 billion euros at the end of 2017, an increase of 9% on the previous year, while sales on a like-for-like basis show a + 5%. In the financial statements closed on 31 January 2018, EBITDA stood at € 5.3 billion (+ 4%).
However, the gross margins of the group that controls brands such as Zara, Oysho and Bershka decreased from 57% to 56.3%. Annual EBIT totaled € 4.3 billion, up 7% from the year before. Profit also rose by 7% to 3.37 billion. The board proposed to shareholders a dividend of 0.75 euro per share, an increase of 10.3% compared to 2016.
Despite the new openings (183 in 2017, net of closures leading to 7,475 total assets under assets) the fast fashion giant shows a slight slowdown in the march after + 12% of revenues in 2016 and + 10% profits.
The financial statement shows a strong increase in online sales (+ 41%) in 2017, which now represent a 10% share of total revenues. Inditex is investing a lot in the integration between offline and online and in technologies such as RFID (Radio-Frequency Identification) to better integrate the physical stores warehouse and the online store: 1.8 billions of euros for this purpose.
Inditex intends to distribute 562 million euros to its employees, in various remuneration formulas, of which 42 million under the “Extraordinary Profit-Sharing” plan.
Early this year, the company Inditex that owns Bershka among others, announced that Carlos Crespo was promoted to chief operating officer. Already the internal audit director of the group, he will report directly to the president and CEO Pablo Isla. In April, on the new edition of the design week, Bershka launched, The Cube, a new technological project of the brand.
Last year, Inditex strengthened its presence in the USA. On 17th October, the Spanish apparel group gained a foothold for its young fashion label Bershka in New York’s SoHo district, opening a pop-up store which was operational until the end of the year. It was the label’ first physical presence in the USA, supporting Bershka’s e-commerce launch which took place last spring.