February 27, 2018 / 11:47 AM / 18 days ago

Italy's Moncler expects to outshine luxury market with online push

MILAN (Reuters) - Italy’s Moncler (MONC.MI) expects to outperform the luxury industry in 2018 by pursuing online sales and targeting younger customers, the luxury jacket and coat maker said on Tuesday.

FILE PHOTO: The logo of Moncler is seen in a shop in downtown Rome, Italy February 10, 2016. REUTERS/Tony Gentile/File Photo

Moncler announced a shift last week to monthly product launches aimed at keeping up with the increasingly fast pace of the luxury market.

“We must keep an open mind and constantly evolve, welcoming changes but keeping true to our DNA,” Chairman and Chief Executive Remo Ruffini said at Moncler’s capital markets day.

Fashion groups are coming under pressure to deliver new clothes and accessories more quickly as their brands attract younger buyers whose tastes are influenced by social media.

Moncler’s Chief Operating Officer (COO) Roberto Eggs said the shape and size of the company - founded as a traditional skiwear brand in 1952 but now a trendy fashion label - would allow it to keep growing at a faster pace than the industry.

Worldwide sales of luxury goods, worth some 260 billion euros ($321 billion), are seen growing at 4-5 percent a year until 2020, consultancy Bain predicts.

Eggs said Moncler aims to double its retail online sales, now at 3 percent of revenues, to bring it closer to rest of the industry where e-commerce represents 9 percent of total revenue and is forecast to reach a quarter of all sales by 2025.

Moncler would complete the European roll-out of its omni-channel program - drawing together shop operations with online - by early 2019, Eggs said, adding that China, a critical market for the luxury industry, required a specific approach.

    The Italian firm, whose iconic puffer coats sell for as much as 1,000 euros each, said it did not plan big price increases in order to keep its products attractive to young clients, who make up a third of the market.

    “We don’t want them to be cut out since they are the growth engine for the future,” Eggs told analysts.

    Moncler aims to enter two new countries a year, with at least 10 new boutiques to be opened yearly.

    Under its new “Genius” strategy, last week Moncler wowed the fashion crowd at Milan’s fashion week with a big reveal of its eight new collections, by eight different designers.

    “2018 is the start of a new era ,” Eggs said.

    Reporting by Giulia Segreti; editing by Alexander Smith

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