MILAN — Changes are afoot at La Rinascente under its new owner, Thailand-based Central Retail Corp., which took control of the Italian department store chain in May 2011 and is planning a global expansion.
La Rinascente’s current chief executive officer, Vittorio Radice, has been promoted to vice chairman. He will also be in charge of the international development of luxury department stores under the Central Retail umbrella. Radice, who joined the Italian chain six years ago, is known for rejuvenating the British department store Selfridges.
Alberto Baldan, currently La Rinascente’s managing director, will become ceo.
Central Retail is focusing on international development of “high density” luxury department stores modeled after La Rinascente’s jewel in the crown, its Piazza Duomo flagship here, while continuing the repositioning and development of the retailer in Italy.
Central Retail chairman Sudhitham Chirathivat said the acquisition “has raised both the profile of La Rinascente in Asia and Central Group outside of Asia. We believe Vittorio Radice is best suited to capitalize on this momentum for our international expansion strategy.”
Chirathivat acknowledged Italy’s, and Europe’s, difficult economies, but said he was confident in the future, believing the expansion of La Rinascente will “contribute to local economies by investing in building new stores, creating jobs and bringing new product to its customers. Italy is well positioned to benefit from the growing numbers of Asian tourists traveling to Europe for luxury shopping. Therefore, we have no doubt that the Italian economy and its retail market will recover and continue to grow strongly in the future.”
He concluded that the store has achieved targeted sales for 2011, expecting sales to “continue to grow.” Last year, Radice said he hoped La Rinascente would reach sales of 300 million euros, or $413.6 million, in 2012.
Radice said he was “extremely happy with the results” of La Rinascente’s repositioning, but said that “because of the lengthy procedures to obtain planning consents and trading licenses in the Italian market, we are looking overseas to accelerate our expansion.”
Central Retail is targeting Europe and Asia.
Baldan added that he hoped the “long-awaited stores of Rome and Venice” will open soon and noted that the group continues to invest in its existing stores “to keep the company among the best in retail.”
The new owner of La Rinascente department stores is tapping into increasingly wealthy tourists from emerging markets, with plans to promote the chain internationally, leveraging Italian design and quality.
With sales of $4 billion, the Bangkok-based Central Retail owns 41 stores in Thailand, and three in China, and its business also includes property, hotels and restaurants.
Central Retail took control of the retailer for 260 million euros, or $358.4 million at current exchange, 11 times the store’s 2010 earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization. Previous shareholders included real estate developer Prelios with a 20 percent stake; investment fund Investitori Associati (46 percent); RREEF-Deutsche Bank Group (30 percent) and Tasso, controlled by chairman Maurizio Borletti (4 percent). Central Retail said it planned to invest 10 million to 15 million euros, or $13.7 million to $20.6 million, a year in the refurbishing and renovations of La Rinascente’s 12 stores. Next year, the Milan unit will complete its renovation plan initiated in 2006.
@tradesy is turning the concept of a showroom upside down with its new space in Santa Monica. Here, the company plans to hold events, art exhibits and a showcase rare fashion pieces like this Louis Vuitton boxing set. Get all the details on Tradesy’s first showroom on WWD.com. #wwdnews
Spotted last night at the @erdem x @hm launch event: Kate Bosworth, Rashida Jones, Kirsten Dunst and Selma Blair. The party, which took place in LA, also marked the opening of their pop-up shop. “I was interested in creating a collection that wasn’t in any way disposable. It was about pieces you’d create and keep forever, things that have a permanence to it,” designer Erdem Moralioglu said. #wwdeye (📷: Katie Jones)
Renee Zellweger in yellow in 2001 and again in 2017. Chosen as one of the 12 @pantone Leading Spring Colors (and dubbed “Meadowlark”), it only makes sense that the bright hue stands the test of time and is making a resurgence this season, seen already on stars like @blakelively and @gigihadid. (📷: Donato Sardello & @rexfeatures) #wwdfashion #tbt
Dior’s 70th anniversary celebration continues with a new exhibition at the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto. “Christian Dior,” which is scheduled to run through March 18, takes a look at the founders tenure from 1947 to 1057 and feature 40 designs. Pictured here is an evening gown from the Ailée, fall 1948-49 haute couture collection. #wwdfashion (📷: Brian Boyle)
As one of the most recognizable models in the world, Christy Turlington Burns has an insider’s view of the fashion industry and the allegations of sexual harassment swirling around it. “I can say that harassment and mistreatment have always been widely known and tolerated in the industry. The industry is surrounded by predators who thrive on the constant rejection and loneliness so many of us have experiences at some point in our careers,” Turlington told WWD, along with her suggestions for how the modeling world should protect younger women and men. Read more on WWD.com. Link in bio. (📷: Tony Palmieri) #wwdnews
@asics America has tapped a new brand ambassador: famed DJ/record producer @steveaoki. This initiative is intended to set the tone for the new brand identity and philosophy and will include partnerships with influencers and in-store and off-line activations that will continue into next year. This is Asics’ most significant marketing effort in two decades, and is expected to attract younger consumers to the brand. #wwdfashion
24-year-old Jean Prounis is redefining the rules of jewelry. Formerly a studio assistant to Jemima Kirke and a design apprentice at Ghuran, she focuses on handcrafted subtleties and ancient goldsmithing techniques. “There was a really sterile feel in the environment and I wanted to have jewelry with character that shapes how you wear it everyday,” Prounis said. Each piece is hand made in New York, either by Prounis or three other jewelers in the district. #wwdfashion
“These collections continue to build on that vision, empowering differently abled adults to express themselves through fashion,” said @tommyhilfiger of his line of adaptive apparel, which launches today. The line consists of 37 men’s and 34 women’s styles based upon the pieces from the spring Tommy Hilfiger sportswear collection. #wwdnews