By the end of 2019, Mackage will boast close to 20 of its own retail stores in North America, Europe and Asia in addition to a robust wholesale distribution network across dozens of countries globally – from well-known luxury retailers like Harrods, Saks Fifth Avenue, Galeries Lafayette and Holt Renfrew to exclusive independent stores. It has also expanded from its initial focus on women’s outerwear, launching a men’s outerwear collection in 2008, a kids’ collection in 2012 and handbags in 2013.
The goal to become a global player in the luxury outerwear market was part of the plan from Mackage’s beginnings in Montreal, where the company is still headquartered.
"Mackage had banked with HSBC from its early days before I even joined the business," says Patrick Elfassy, brother of Eran and CEO of the company. "From the start, we had international ambitions and wanted a partner who would be able to expand with us wherever we wanted to go in the world."
The company’s expansion into new markets was made easier by its relationship with HSBC. "We have offices in Montreal, Paris, Munich, Shanghai, Toronto, New York, and Miami and we bank with HSBC at each location," says Elfassy. "We value the convenience of having a single banking partner so that as we open new offices we don’t have to build a new banking relationship. Everyone uses the HSBCnet platform, so there’s no learning process required for our everyday banking needs as we expand and grow."
With its global network of retail stores, offices and suppliers, Mackage depends on a range of HSBC banking solutions – from receivables finance to global payables – to ensure it has the working capital and financial flexibility for both day-to-day operations and to invest in future growth.
"Our relationship manager has always come up with proactive solutions, anticipating our needs and offering strategies or products to make our processes more efficient," says Elfassy. "Several years ago, I remember him telling me about a solution that sounded great. I referred him to our CFO and it was implemented right away."
But the CEO says the relationship between HSBC and Mackage is more than just transactional. He cites everything from the value of friendly rapport with the team at HSBC to being invited to attend a global summit in Shanghai to meet other HSBC clients and interact on a more personal level with key staff.
A recent turning point for the company came in 2017 when Mackage brought on private equity partners. "That was a game-changer for us," says Elfassy, "and HSBC put in place a customized banking solution to meet our new requirements."
What’s next for Mackage? The design team will continue to innovate in creating highly sought-after outerwear goods that are both functional and stylish. And that commitment and care will underpin Mackage’s evolution as it continues expanding its retail presence to become a global leader in the luxury market.
"We’ve always taken a patient approach to growth," says Elfassy. "That patience, dedication and rigour saw us conquer our local market before we expanded across Canada and into the US. Now our eyes are set on the international market. Our evolution over the past 20 years has shown us the importance of having the best team. That includes in-house staff as well as external professionals – accountants, lawyers and bankers – who can help us achieve goals we could never reach on our own."
Note: The views and opinions presented are solely those of the speakers.
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