MILAN — In China, Prada Group is stepping on the gas, inaugurating seven new stores this month alone.At the new luxury SKP mall in Xi'an, the group is opening three Prada banners; two Miu Miu units, and two Church’s stores.The Prada spaces are dedicated to the women’s and men’s collections, and women’s shoes. The first two are located on the ground floor, and cover 3,888 square feet and 2,180 square feet, respectively. The shoe store is on the fourth floor and spans more than 1,500 square feet. Green marble portals, a checkered black-and-white marble floor and special re-editions of Fifties Italian design furniture, such as seats by Osvaldo Borsani, mark the Prada stores.The Miu Miu ready-to-wear, accessories and shoe store on the ground floor covers 2,052 square feet. A Miu Miu banner dedicated to footwear is on the fifth floor and is more than 1,080 square feet. The light blue damask fabric, a staple for the brand’s store concept globally, is also prominent here. Display counters of fabric and crystal, fine marble tables and velvet sofas define the furnishings of the women’s shop; blue marble display counters, small carpeted tables and round sofas in light-blue velvet complete the furnishings of the space dedicated to women’s shoes. Also on the fifth floor is the women’s Church’s store, while the men’s unit for the brand is on the second level.The group’s itinerant pop-up retail project “Prada Silver Line” will travel to Xi’an to mark the mall opening, starting from May 28. It will offer customers an exclusive range of products presented in an imaginary railway station. The project was first unveiled in Macau’s Galaxy shopping mall in December.China has long been a focus for Prada, which is publicly listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange.Last year, revenues in Greater China climbed 5 percent to 645 million euros. In 2017, group sales decreased 3.6 percent to 3.05 billion euros, compared with 3.17 billion euros in the previous year. At constant exchange rates, sales dropped 2 percent.In March, during a conference call with analysts to comment on the 2017 financial statement, chief executive officer Patrizio Bertelli emphasized the investments in the group’s network of stores, with 140 renovation and relocation projects and the opening of 75 pop-up stores; the efforts to boost global brand visibility, and an enriched product offer, all enhanced by a fast-growing digital presence. Bertelli at the time cited an improving business trend in the second part of 2017 that is progressing into 2018. Bertelli is expected to travel to Xi’an as a speaker at the 2018 WWD Global Fashion + Beauty Forum on May 30.
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