Missoni continues expansion plans

Thursday, 06 February 2014
Italian fashion house Missoni is set to open stores in new markets such as Russia, India and Turkey and is preparing to close an agreement to open a joint venture in China, in spite of recent concerns raised surrounding emerging markets and waning luxury sales.

Alberto Piantoni, Chief Executive Officer at Missoni dismissed worries and ongoing speculations that the fashion house may be up for sale following the deaths of the fashion houses co-founder Ottavio Missoni and his missing son Vittorio last year in an interview with Reuters. He adds that the family is wants to keep "100 percent control" of the company and are not seeking for any new investors or preparing for a future IPO.

Piantoni explains that the company predicts sales to increase 4 to 5 percent this year and up to 5 to 6 percent in the following two years, as current sales have remained steadily strong over the last 3 years, despite the economic crisis gripping its home market. To help the sales growth predictions become reality, the fashion house is set to open two stores in Turkey this year, as well as one in India and Russia.

Missoni is also preparing to re-enter China, after leaving the market in 2011. Piantoni reveals that the Italian fashion house is near to agreeing on a joint venture with a Chinese business partnet for a retail business. "We are very confident that we can finalize this agreement in the next few week," said the company CEO.

He adds that Missoni reported 140 million pounds in revenues last year, which includes its licenses, with 80 percent of its sales coming from its wholesale channel and 20 percent in retail. In the future, Piantoni revealed that the fashion house aims to shift those percentages to 70 percent and 30 percent and is looking to raise the amount of revenues made via its own store, as it gives higher margins than wholesales sale. He points out that the company is able invest in new retail locations and new products, without hurting its finances.

The Italian fashion house is also looking to expand its current offering of luxury merchandise to include footwear and fragrances. Piantoni claims that the company will complete a licensing deal for perfumes bearing the labels name within a month and is close to sealing a license for footwear as well. "In the next three years, we could make around 30 percent of sales from shoes, bags and perfumes and eyewear," concludes Piantoni, seeing potential in increasing the sales percentage of Missoni's accessories range.