Products by the leading brands, enviable market positioning (its best-known store is in central Milan with views over the Duomo), on-trend accessories, exclusive capsule collections, unique collaborations with the most prestigious designers and an array of display areas guaranteeing an elite shopping experience.
This is La Rinascente: one of the most popular retail chains in Italy and a business model envied all over the world.
That’s according to the European competitors of the historic boutique opened in Milan in 1865, who have now been part of the group for some time. In recent years, La Rinascente has established itself as a real benchmark, to the extent that colossi like Illum and KaDeWe, who were acquired in 2013 and 2015 respectively, are transforming their organisational structure to resemble that of the parent company.
Driving this international success is not just increased profits and revenues but also the group’s ability to adapt their business model to fit an increasingly demanding market. The result is a virtuous cycle being fuelled continuously by the Italian group, which in just ten years has had the skill to climb the global rankings and reach the summit in its sector.
It’s all down to the repositioning that the top brass of the group has undertaken in the last decade. La Rinascente’s turnaround is proving to be a blueprint for success, with the company – which was bought by the Thai Central Retail Corporation in 2011 – generating unimaginable numbers since.
Revenue is just one of the indicators to have experienced a boost, thanks to the effective implementation of the repositioning and careful market governance led by the group’s upper echelons. In the space of five years, the group’s $6bn takings have nearly doubled, reaching double figures. The acquisitions of Illum in Denmark and KaDeWe in Germany have played a key role in the group’s international upturn – and there are no signs that this is set to slow down.
The numbers being generated by the central Milan store, the group’s jewel in the crown, are testament to this: in 2005, it was registering revenue of €130m, with just 10% of that attributable to brands outside of the La Rinascente brand. Just over ten years later, the store now generates €350m in revenue (an increase of 250%), with the company’s private labels now only accounting for just over 10% of income. It’s irrefutable proof that the giants of clothing and design are buying into the La Rinascente philosophy, with great results for all concerned.
Nevertheless, the group’s turnaround is only beginning. The strategy for 2017 is already well mapped out and almost complete, with the year set to include the completion of the reboots of Illum in Copenhagen and the three KaDeWe stores in Germany as well as the opening of a new store in Rome’s Via del Tritone.
“We want to transform ourselves from simple chain to collection of department stores,” explains Central Retail Corporation Europe CEO Stefano Della Valle.
Without a shadow of a doubt, the group is on the right track as it prepares to tackle future challenges.