Versace plans ME expansion through jewellery boutiques [Khaleej Times (United Arab Emirates)]
(Khaleej Times (United Arab Emirates) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) Sees excellent opportunities; second boutique in Dubai soon
The world's leading international fashion house Versace plans to open its jewellery boutiques across the Middle East to showcase its wide range of unique style branded watches and fine jewels, according to its top official.
The Italian fashion brand considers Middle East region as one of its potential growth markets along with China and the United States. It also seeks to explore new markets including Brazil and Turkey to sustain the brand's steady growth in years ahead.
"The Middle East is one of the most important markets for the Versace brand and for the jewellery category in particular. We are planning a roll out of exclusive free standing Versace Jewellery boutiques where both watches and fine jewels will coexist according to the unique Versace style," Gian Giacomo Ferraris, chief executive of Versace, told Khaleej Times in an exclusive interview.
Versace, which was established in 1978, designs, markets, and distributes luxury clothing, accessories, makeup, and home furnishings under the various brands of the group. It has strong presence in the leading world markets including the Middle East, Asia, Europe, United States, Canada and South America. Versace Jewellery is available in the Middle East through its licensee and local partner Samra International.
"We started operating with Samra International in 2009, for the opening of the first Versace Jewellery boutique in Dubai while in 2013, due to the continuous developments of the jewellery collections and in order to achieve a higher level of specialisation, we signed a licence agreement for the WW production and distribution of Versace jewellery collections.
"Our distribution plan for the region, is therefore in progress and we are evaluating prime partners as well as prime locations, focusing above all on Abu Dhabi, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia and of course Dubai," he said.
Expansion in Dubai
Ferraris is upbeat about the performance of Versace Jewellery boutique in Dubai and said the brand received an excellent feedback from the market.
"In 2014 we will open the second Versace Jewelry Boutique at the new Palazzo Versace Dubai, a luxury service in an outstanding destination; at the same time, we will implement the business through exclusive corners in high-end multi-brand stores opening in the region," he said.
About the performance in 2013, he said it would be consistent in line with strong sales registered last year as the market appreciated the wide range of products launched by Versace. "We should highlight that in 2012 sales registered a positive outcome. We are very happy with the performance of our Versace Jewellery Boutique in Dubai, as we achieved a strong growth of about 33 per cent," he said.
Elaborating, he said one of the main reasons is that the collection was actually very appreciated by the market. Moreover, to further support this product category, "we implemented a series of local strategic marketing activities in prime locations such as The Dubai Mall".
"For 2013, we expect a consistent growth not only thanks to the new lines presented at Baselworld, but also because precious jewels are considered a certainty against devaluation in a period of market crisis."
About exploring new markets, he said Versace has a clear and consistent brand positioning, with the first line as well as the diffusion lines setting the standards in terms of product and image worldwide.
"Of course, United States and Asia have become the most important markets for our brand and the position of Versace Group is very healthy, with considerable upside for the future.
"For 2013, we expect growth to continue worldwide by developing existing markets such as China, US and the Middle East [where we can still open many stores] and by opening new ones namely Turkey, Brazil, among others," he said.
Ferraris, who joined the Versace as chief executive in July 2009, said Versace has excellent growth opportunities, through its brands — Versace, Versace Collection, Versus — by expanding and strengthening the product offering for both woman and man, and in many categories, such as shoes, handbags, etc.
"And of course, we can develop our channels [ecommerce of course, but for sure retail and wholesale]. The first eight months of the current year have confirmed our expectation," he said.
To a scope for Versace Jewellery in emerging markets, he said Versace Jewellery has a global scope as the Versace brand itself.
"Each market is in our radar screen and the demand for Versace fine jewellery is growing. We know there is a strong interest in Versace fine jewellery in emerging markets and we are aware that there is a huge potential for expansion.
"At the moment our priority is to consolidate in our major markets so to satisfy our customers as best as we can, while continuing to explore all of these new opportunities," he said.
About Atelier Versace Jewellery collection launched at Haute Couture week in Paris recently, he said the Atelier Jewellery collection is composed by one-of-a kind pieces such as rings, earrings and bracelets with a high quality and craftsmanship value.
"Likewise the Atelier Versace fashion collection, these precious jewels are exclusive creations, made only upon request and for the most demanding customers. This collection is mainly sold to top clients who have exclusive access to private viewings and appointments hosted in selected Versace boutiques.
From the beginning, the Atelier Jewellery collection has been successfully welcomed by our VIP clients and of course, we will make every efforts to maintain it," Ferraris concluded.
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