LuisaViaRoma opens first branch outside Italy in Riyadh
today Nov 7, 2019
Italian multibrand luxury retailer LuisaViaRoma has opened a first branch outside its domestic market: a 1,100 m2 store in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, located in a small, highly exclusive commercial community in which local speculators have invested over $3 billion.
“We are the only luxury multibrand retailer active in the area and, for us, this isn’t just the first branch outside Italy, but our second store outright, alongside our long-established flagship boutique in Florence,” Andrea Panconesi, CEO and founder of LuisaViaRoma, told FashionNetwork.com.
It all began with a small milliner’s shop in via Roma, Florence, opened by Luisa Jaquin towards the end of the 1920s, and now LuisaViaRoma, thanks to the efforts of Jaquin’s nephew Andrea Panconesi, has become one of the world’s most renowned luxury stores, a benchmark for international fashion.
Another highly interesting fact revealed by Panconesi is the exponential growth of LuisaViaRoma’s online business: “In the last three months, our e-commerce revenue has grown by 70%, the same kind of growth we had when we first turned to e-tail in 1999. Currently, 5% of our revenue is generated in-store; Italy accounts for 20% of our online business while the rest comes from abroad, with Europe accounting for 50%.”
LuisaViaRoma currently sells online to about 180 countries, for a record revenue close to €160 million in 2019, equivalent to a 20% increase over the previous year. Through the e-tail channel, LuisaViaRoma has carved out a significant market share.
“Among luxury multibrand retailers, we are the number one in Italy, and we have only 10 competitors worldwide that sell as much as we do online, this is a big advantage," added Panconesi. "Leveraging our reputation as a luxury multibrand retailer is one of our strengths. We are also thinking about increasing the number of product categories we sell: we began with men’s and women's fashion, then we added childrenswear, home decoration, beauty and sportswear. Our next challenge will be fine foods.”
Panconesi also explained how LuisaViaRoma is changing its communication strategy: it will no longer invest on SEO alone, but it will also stage major events, with a charity dimension as well. “Luxury is a value for us: for a company, it means having a heritage, a history, quality products and excellent service, but this is no longer enough. Young people are interested in other values, in ethics. For me, ‘ethical’ means something that is beneficial to the welfare of others and yourself. This is why we organise the Summer Gala in Porto Cervo, Sardinia; this year, for the second edition, we raised €3 million in charity for UNICEF."
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