EUROFLASH

HOLY MATRIMONY: Virgin Bride is the latest retail venture by British entrepreneur Richard Branson, of Virgin Airline, radio station and record company fame. Branson wants to test the British bridal market by opening a one-stop wedding shop in, or near, London by September of next year.
According to Virgin Bride's general manager, Ailsa Petchey, the store will offer complete wedding products and services including wedding invitations, dresses, honeymoon planning and limousine reservations. Customers will be able to shop e la carte, or pay for the full bridal consultancy service.
Plans so far are for only one store serving London and southeast England.

FROM SWATCH TO SUPERGA: What do plastic watches and tennis shoes have in common? Franco Bosisio.
And if Bosisio has anything to say about it, Superga will become the hottest brand in Italy since Swatch, a brand he played a key role building.
Formerly managing director of Swatch's Italian subsidiary, the 44-year-old Bosisio has been appointed managing director of Superga and has ambitious plans for the Turin-based company, which is launching an apparel operation alongside its successful footwear business.
"My plan is to double turnover in the next three to five years [from 110 billion lire, or $69 million, in 1995] and take this company to the stock exchange," Bosisio said during a recent interview.
Bosisio was the marketing wizard who propelled sales at Swatch's Italian affiliate to 336 billion lire in 1994 from 29 billion lire in 1986.
Bosisio's strategy is to boost exports to at least 30 percent of total turnover, from the current 15 percent, focusing on the German, French, U.S. and Japanese markets. He also hopes to create a strong identity for its new apparel collections, which he will divide into four categories: Club, Athletic, Country and High Tech.

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