Estonian retail group Tallink Group has announced an agreement to sell its onshore fashion retail business Baltic Retail OÜ to Talwest Grupp OÜ.
Aimed at offsetting the impact of the pandemic, Tallink Group explained that it needed to refocus on the company’s maritime transport and onboard operations, therefore exiting the onshore fashion retail market “for now.”
In a statement announcing the deal, Tallink Duty Free Head Aimar Pärna pointed out that “Right now, we must readjust our plans and refocus. Our sights are currently firmly set on securing and strengthening our core business and onboard operations, as well as on the growth and expansion of our online retail presence. In the current world and new shopping habits where online has come to dominate, this is where our energy and efforts should be directed in the short to medium term.”
Three years ago, Tallink Group established Baltic Retail to channel its growth into the onshore retail market. They acquired franchise rights in the Baltics for fashion brands such as Esprit, Superdry, Vero Moda, Jack & Jones and United Colors of Benetton. From 2018 to 2021, the company operated eight retail stores in the biggest shopping centres in Tallinn. “Baltic Retail and the expansion into the onshore fashion retail market made perfect sense a few years ago, before the pandemic and building on our decades of experience with travel and fashion retail on board. We have extensive knowledge, strong partnerships with global brands and pre-pandemic great ideas and plans for growth and expansion on shore,” acknowledged Pärna.
Once the deal closes, Tallink Group will focus on its core maritime activities and continue to operate smaller onshore travel retail outlets at the Port of Tallinn, as well as the essential goods shop Tallink Express at the former Balti Jaam train station.
Meanwhile, Talwest Grupp OÜ will take over the onshore franchise rights of Esprit, Vero Moda, Jack & Jones, SuperDry, United Colors of Benetton.