The Netherlands: to Mizuno the ideal feedback market for the rest of Europe11-03-2015, Door: Hans de Bruin
Mizuno was founded in 1906 and today it’s one of the best known worldwide top sporting goods manufacturers. At the last Olympic Games, many of the winning athletes wore Mizuno sportswear. Mizuno supplies sportswear and the equipment for baseball, golf, running, track and field sports, football, indoor sports like volleyball and handball, table tennis, swimming and judo.
The European market is emerging for Mizuno and from a European perspective the Netherlands are an ideal country for launching new products. Director Mizuno Corporation Netherlands, Jean-Paul van der Linden: “In The Netherlands we are known for wanting to try new things. At the same time, we Dutch people are committed, crystal clear and maybe somewhat direct in our judgment and our responses. This results in valuable consumer feedback via our dealer network and that is something we greatly appreciate. Also, our market in the Netherlands can be characterized as open, very tight and with tough competition. These factors make The Netherlands for Mizuno the ideal feedback market for the rest of Europe. A successful product launch here is a good indicator for the possible success of a new product in the rest of Europe. From this perspective, all of our efforts in The Netherlands open in most cases the gateway to the European market.
Founding Mizuno Corporation Netherlands was an important next step
In Northwest Europe, Mizuno has offices in the UK, Germany and France. Prior to his job at Mizuno, Jean-Paul van der Linden worked for fifteen years for a top sportswear distributor in Roosendaal, with Mizuno as main brand. Four years ago, Mizuno decided to open their own office in the Netherlands. The Japanese board proclaimed their trust in Jean-Paul van der Linden to take the lead and that was the start of Mizuno Corporation Netherlands on January 1st 2012.
Particular focus on these premises
At the beginning, there was an interest in locations in Amsterdam and Rotterdam for a short period, but soon the company focused on the Borchwerf II Business Area. Jean-Paul van der Linden: “together with the Japanese board, in The Netherlands we targeted our present business location at a very early stage. For several times, I made inquiries about the availability of the premises and I’m very pleased that in the end we succeeded in locating Mizuno Corporation Netherlands at the Borchwerf II Business Area.”
Driving on the international highway A17 within the minute
Jean-Paul van der Linden: “An important advantage of a business location at Business Park Borchwerf is that we can access the international highway A17 within a minute, with easy access to most of our clients’ offices within the hour. Every day we receive compliments from our business contacts about the ease of reaching our premises. We are literally easy to find and the traffic on the highway around our premises is fluid at almost any given moment. The visibility from the highway A17, the easy access and the spatial layout of the Borchwerf II Business Area are favourable conditions for our business. Another consideration is that the tariffs per square metre here are quite good compared to Amsterdam, Rotterdam, Brussels or Antwerp. So for us, the Borchwerf II Business Area delivers the right real estate conditions to benefit our key business processes.”
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