The fast-growing Spanish eyewear and accessories group has opened its seventh store in Madrid, in the Plenilunio shopping center, and announced plans to open five more stores next month in the Canary Islands as it pursues its strategy of complementing its online services with brick-and-mortar stores. Three of the stores in the Canary Islands will be in the town of Las Palmas and two will be on the island of Tenerife.
The company started in 2013 as a pure e-tailer and achieved sales of €75 million in 2018, with 90 percent of revenues stemming from e-commerce and only 10 percent from offline retailing and wholesale.
Hawkers remains heavily focused on the Spanish market, where it generates about 80 percent of its revenues. The other main markets are Mexico, Italy, Portugal and Colombia. Third-tier markets include the U.S., Brazil, Australia, Chile, Poland, Germany and Greece.
According to the Spanish press, Hawkers is believed have posted its first profit in 2015, which amounted to €1 million on sales of €20 million. The company has since been loss-making due to investments in brick-and-mortar stores. The first store was opened in Madrid in September of 2017. Hawkers now has 55 shops, 45 of which are located in Spain, five in Portugal and two in Italy. Hawkers is targeting a total fleet of 80-90 stores by the end of this year.
The stores focus on selling the Hawkers brand, but some stores also offer the Northweek brand of glasses and goggles, the Wolfnoir eyewear label and a brand of watches, Bratleboro. The company also owns a brand of eyewear and espadrilles, Miss Hamptons, which is not sold in the Hawkers stores.
Hawkers has been concentrating on sunglasses, but last year, it launched a collection of four optical frames that was expanded this year to eight models. Its flagship stores will provide eye tests. The company also established a collaboration with some opticians that it recommends to clients who want to buy optical frames. It plans to open 11 stores in Spain that will focus on optical glasses.
The retail expansion will continue to focus on Spain, Portugal and Italy. These countries should be followed by the U.K., where a store is due to be opened in the summer, and France. The network is due to be extended to Australia, Mexico and the U.S. in the future, but no timeframe has been set yet.
To put the business on an even keel, Hawkers carried out a €50 million capital increase in July 2016 and a similar cash call in 2017, carried out in two tranches of €40 million and €10 million. The company stresses that it does not currently need further funds to finance its investments.
At the end of last year, Hawkers underwent a management shakeup with the appointment of Nacho Puig as chief executive, replacing one of the founders, Alejandro Moreno. The company also hired a new chief financial officer, David Rodriguez, while it got rid of Diego Sebastian, who had been hired from Apple to manage its store expansion.