G-Star Raw is taking over its Swedish franchise partner, Global Retail Sweden.

The Dutch denim company, last week, began the process of taking the reins from Global Retail Sweden, the company that operates 17 stores in the country. Once the deal is finalized, existing G-Star stores in Sweden will be headed by a local G-Star team based out of Stockholm.

G-Star says it has built a strong relationship with Swedish shoppers since it opened its first mono-brand store in 2008. This takeover will make it possible for G-Star to gain another foothold in Sweden, part of an extensive move to increase its focus on controlled space in order to transform into a direct retail organization.

“The Swedish market is a very important market for us,” Mary Doumtsi, general manager for the U.K. and Scandinavia said. “We want to increase our focus on our loyal customers and deliver a best in class experience. In order to adapt to an ever-changing environment where we can continually welcome new customers to our brand, taking ownership of our stores plays a pivotal role.”

G-Star Raw was founded in 1989 in Amsterdam by Jos Tilburg. The company currently has 6,500 points of sale in 63 countries worldwide, with 350 of those being mono-brand stores.

This month, in an effort to practice more environmentally friendly, responsible denim production, G-Star teamed with Artistic Milliners, DyStar and denim manufacturer Saitex to launch its G-Star Elwood RFTPi jeans, which the company says is its “most sustainable jeans ever.” The jeans are made with 100 percent organic cotton, eco-finished metal buttons and responsibly sourced labels. The Elwood and its denim jacket counterpart D-Staq RFTPi became available in store and online Feb. 15.

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