Images and videos archive (Dropbox): bit.ly/MF_2017
Brand reinforcement, distinctiveness and innovation are the focuses of development
Investment for 40.8 million euro
+18% in turnover in the first quarter of 2017
Miroglio Fashion’s CEO Hans Hoegstedt today presented the new pathway he has set out for the historic womenswear business that brings together brands like Motivi, Oltre, Fiorella Rubino, Elena Mirò, Caractère, Per te by Krizia, Luisa Viola and Diana Gallesi.
The wide-ranging revamp and new organizational setup brought in with the arrival of the manager in the company at the end of 2016 are already producing results: as a matter of fact, in the first three months the fashion firm recorded double-digit growth in revenues: +18%.
A change born out of shifting market conditions, as Hans Hoegstedt explains “Following the drastic drop in consumption in the clothing industry during the years of the financial crisis, the fashion market has polarized increasingly between the luxury and low-price sectors, with the leading international mass market chains growing exponentially and capturing consumers and market share. The blow was felt by all the “in-between sector”, as it is known in Italian fashion. Miroglio Fashion had to reinvent itself, and has done so. Today we are opening a new chapter in our history” continued the CEO. “Indeed, we think there can be an alternative to the massification prevailing today in fast fashion: a growth pathway that leverages the qualities that have made Italian entrepreneurship so great, such as focusing on people, a distinctive brand offering, attention to detail, and retail that offers an intimate, “human” shopping experience. All supported by latest generation technology. And it is on these very pillars that we have built our new strategy”.
The real heart of the change began from within, from the people in the company, and from a reorganization designed to harness their skills and talents: solid experience and know-how that combines artisanal culture and attention to detail with the new world of 3D technology and a great capacity to work on product and fit, through to industrialization and distribution across a vast network. The “heart” of Miroglio Fashion comprises the 65 stylists, 42 pattern-makers and 11 seamstresses of Atelier Miroglio, who are able to create ever more up-to-date and accessible collections.
The strategy’s second cornerstone is an attentive focalization on the positioning of the individual brands, which has led Miroglio Fashion to concentrate initially on the 4 main brands (Motivi, Oltre, Fiorella Rubino and Elena Mirò), working on their identities to achieve distinctive offerings and more customized styles. Since the beginning of the year, the new brand identities have been backed up by the development of new store concepts, and the launching in parallel of major press, radio, web and poster communication campaigns. Events have also been put on with the participation of prominent testimonials, such as top model Kate Grigorieva for Motivi, and the creation of capsule collections designed by entertainment and music celebrities including Vanessa Incontrada for Elena Mirò and Noemi for Fiorella Rubino.
Key as well is the focus on retail and shopping experience, the third step to change: “We want to create a positive relationship with our customers; a genuine, human rapport that can make every woman feel as if she is at home: listened to, followed and pampered” said Hans Hoegstedt. Retail is a sphere the Alba company has pioneered right from the outset. Indeed, in 1993 Miroglio Fashion created the first industrial-scale Italian fast fashion in Motivi, with a network of branded stores which has grown exponentially over time, and has now been joined by the branded stores of other brands. As of today, Miroglio Fashion is distributed through 1,188 branded sales outlets, equivalent to more than 10 kilometres of shop window front. Branded stores that offer a veritable shopping experience, thanks to the custom support provided by 3,800 sales staff. An omnichannel approach to sales in-store has integrated over time with the on-line sales, which recorded a 70% increase in the first quarter of 2017 along with a strong component of sales delivered through the use of in-store tablets. A major store facelift plan has also just been launched. Called “300 in 300”, it envisages the restyling of 300 sales outlets in 300 days throughout Italy and in Europe.
2017 is also the year of major investment in technology and of partnerships in this sector. A series of innovative activities have been developed with the Miroglio Retail 4.0 project, from RFID tag-tracking technology to the “Smart checkout” project implemented with Oracle throughout the chain of stores, and “Borsino” which combines artificial intelligence and the experience of staff for the replenishment of the central warehouse and the exchanging of garments between stores. The new e-commerce platform for the main brands will also soon be completed thanks to the support of Salesforce Commerce Cloud, one of the leading operators in the sector worldwide. Finally, Miroglio Fashion was one of the first in Italy to adopt Workplace, the innovative tool created by Facebook to facilitate and speed up in-company communication.
According to Miroglio Fashion’s President, Elena Miroglio, “times of crisis can become great opportunities if you manage to understand the path to take and to accept change. We are doing just that with the precious contribution of Hans Hoegstedt, a manager whose innovative drive is appreciated by the whole Board, with his international outlook, experience in diverse sectors, and considerable feeling for fashion and Italian corporate culture. For all these reasons, we have decided to back his industrial plan by investing 40.8 million euro, including 19.5 million for marketing, 17.4 million for the store refurbishment program, and 3.9 million on the new IT projects. The results we are seeing in the first quarter give us grounds for optimism for the future”.