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Sergio Rossi’s Riccardo Scitt says omni-channel strategy, Asian and Italian craftsmanship are key

Translated by

Nikola Mira

It was published

June 11, 2021

Take control of Sergio Rossi Since April 2016 Ricardo Shut Comprehensively rebuilt and reorganized Italian luxury shoe labels sold by Kering Sergio Rossi was recently acquired by Fosun Fashion Group and is raising the flag of China. Confirmed in his post, Siut explained to how he intends to pursue his mission.

Riccardo Scidt-Sergio Rossi What are the details of the operation in Fosun?

Ricardo Shut: It is not possible to reveal the numbers related to the transaction. Investindustrial, like most investment funds, planned to withdraw after five years. At Fosun, we have found a partner who is enthusiastic about ensuring the continuity of our strategy. It was love at first sight. The Chinese group has made it a condition for the acquisition that I take command of the company. Together with my senior management, we became a co-investor with Fosun and acquired a small stake in Sergio Rossi. It’s a signal of consistency and continuity.

FNW: What are Sergio Rossi’s fundamentals today?

RS: Over the last five years, the Sergio Rossi factory in San Mauro Cilento, the birthplace of the Italian shoe industry in the Emilia-Romagna region, has undergone a thorough overhaul. It’s a unique site and the label’s true value. Over 50,000 m2 in size, there is a factory (10,000 m2) as well as a warehouse, a management office, and an archive with 7,000 pairs of shoes.

It employs 200 skilled craftsmen out of 420 employees and also produces for third-party clients. With Fosun, you can imagine future synergies and create a collection of shoes from other current or future brands in the group. In addition to preserving Italian tradition and expertise, key strategic assets, we are accelerating innovation by deploying digital and omni-channel tools and expanding internationally.

FNW: Which is your main market?

RS: China and Japan account for more than half of our revenue and have about the same share. This is followed by Italy, France and Russia.Operates 4 stores in Paris [where, on rue du Faubourg Saint Honoré, the Sergio Rossi store sits alongside Lanvin, another label owned by Fosun].. We have 24 directly managed stores in Japan and 12 directly managed stores in China. We have just opened two stores in Japan, and we plan to open two more stores in September. Through Fosun, it is clear that we can accelerate the pace of expansion in this market in terms of store openings and e-tail. As of the end of April, China was the main market for online sales. In the luxury sector, China will soon account for the same revenue as the rest of the world combined. Establishing a position in the country is very important.

FNW: What’s your next challenge for Sergio Rossi?

RS: Leveraging our omni-channel strategy, Asian and Italian craftsmanship is our priority. The goal is to close the circle and realize the strategy we have implemented. In other words, while maintaining our roots by emphasizing the importance of Italian craftsmanship, we take a long-term perspective and conquer the major markets of the luxury sector.

FNW: What about Sergio Rossi’s omni-channel strategy?

RS: This is one of our flagship projects. In 2020, we renewed the temporary store on Montena Poleone Street in the center of Milan and decided to sell it completely remotely on the first floor. Customers around the world can link and browse the collections provided by the site’s sales assistants. It’s like a kind of radio station or TV studio. From my desk, through the PC screen, I can step in to greet our most important customers. Currently, one-third of store sales are made remotely. The idea is to replicate this feature in other stores, as we did in Paris a week ago, to give our customers a 360-degree omni-channel experience. It’s a completely different way of selling, so it’s important to properly train your sales staff. We do this through our own academy.

FNW: How is sales and post-pandemic recovery going?

RS: In 2019, Sergio Rossi’s revenue was € 68 million. Due to the pandemic, it fell 27% last year. However, it has proven to be very positive earlier this year. Between January 2021 and the end of April, we recorded a 38% increase in sales, especially in Asia.

FNW: How is your distribution network organized?

RS: There are a total of 64 mono-brand stores, 45 of which are directly managed stores. We are in talks with Kuwait and Almaty in Kazakhstan, the first on the list, for a new franchise. For wholesale channels, we have nearly 300 multi-brand clients. Fortunately, we were barely exposed to this channel. It also changed a lot and became smaller and tougher. We would like to strengthen our position in the wholesale business through the new Sì Rossi line project that actually existed in the past, which was launched in February last year. It’s a younger and more attractive collection with highly recognizable and bulky platform soles and heels, distributed in 30 top stores that have been very successful from the start.

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Sergio Rossi’s Riccardo Scitt says omni-channel strategy, Asian and Italian craftsmanship are key

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