MILAN — Moncler’s new online boutique is a further step forward in the brand’s retail push, fitting in with the strategies mapped out by new owner, Paris-based investment firm Eurazeo.
With innovative graphics, the Italian outerwear brand’s corporate site and its virtual store, optimized for iPad, are now under the single moncler.com address, operated by Yoox Group. In addition to the signature Moncler collection, the site includes the Moncler Grenoble line; Moncler S, by Sacai designer Chitose Abe; and Moncler V, by Visvim designer Hiroki Nakamura, which can all be browsed in the “news” section.
This story first appeared in the September 16, 2011 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
The virtual boutique is available in five languages — Italian, English, French, Spanish and German — and in 27 countries. Yoox manages online stores for designers and brands ranging from Giorgio Armani and Roberto Cavalli to Marni and Bally.
Remo Ruffini, Moncler’s president and creative director, said the launch was “a crucial point within our global strategy. Our retail network is also being expanded through the Web. Further initiatives that have already been planned will respond even better to the requirements and the demands of a world which, on one hand, is increasingly globalized and which, on the other hand, demands exclusive proposals in retail outlets.”
The company is also expanding its brick-and-mortar units. Since July, Moncler has opened boutiques in Tokyo; Rome; Italy’s luxury tourist destination Forte dei Marmi; Beijing; Antwerp; Vienna; and Copenhagen. Planned in the near future are units in Naples, Geneva and five venues in China.
There currently are 64 Moncler stores.
In June, Moncler decided to pull the plug on its proposed initial public offering in Milan and said it had agreed to sell a 45 percent stake to Eurazeo for 418 million euros, or $571.2 million at current exchange rates. The transaction valued Moncler at 1.2 billion euros, or $1.6 billion, representing a multiple of 12 times earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization, or EBITDA, last year.
Ruffini retained a 32 percent stake, while private equity firm The Carlyle Group owns 17.8 percent.
Prior to the Eurazeo deal, Carlyle and Ruffini held 48 percent and 38 percent, respectively.
At the time, Virginie Morgon, Eurazeo’s director of investments, said the equity fund was attracted to the fact that Moncler has yet to develop its retail channel, with its stores pulling in less than a quarter of total revenues. The plan is to increase the retail share to 50 percent in the midterm. Last year, the Moncler line registered sales of 278 million euros, or $367 million.