Europe Watch: Inditex Promotion … Timely Manners … Nature Calls
INDITEX PROMOTION: Inditex said Friday the company would reorganize its top management, with Jose Maria Castellano, its chief executive, becoming vice chairman. A spokesman called the shakeup “preparation for expansion plans. The...
INDITEX PROMOTION: Inditex said Friday the company would reorganize its top management, with Jose Maria Castellano, its chief executive, becoming vice chairman. A spokesman called the shakeup “preparation for expansion plans. The company will create a number of new management divisions. We want to double the size of the company over the next five years.” Amancio Ortega, the company’s founder, will remain chairman, the spokesman added.
Meanwhile, Inditex unit Massimo Dutti is on the march in key European markets, with openings planned in the first half in Lille, Strasbourg and Lyon, France; Bologna, Italy; London, and Dublin. The Inditex-owned chain of classic and casual apparel operates upward of 310 stores in 25 countries. Most are company-owned with franchising agreements only in Portugal, the Benelux countries, Mexico and the Middle East. Dutti also recently opened a third Paris location, its most impressive, which wraps around the Polo Ralph Lauren flagship on Place de la Madeleine. But despite all the European action, there are as yet no concrete plans to export the concept to the U.S. Covadonga Alonso, head of Inditex’s press office at the Barcelona headquarters, said its short-term overseas strategy for Dutti is in keeping with “a strong and continuous expansion program similar to the rest of Inditex’s divisions. We don’t necessarily follow the same game plan sketched out for Zara.”
Zara represents about 70 percent of Inditex’s global turnover, while Massimo Dutti adds about 9 percent. — Barbara Barker
TIMELY MANNERS: A watch that runs fast is not normally a good thing, but after a difficult 2003, Swiss watch exports posted a record, with 2004 sales up 9.2 percent to 11.1 billion Swiss francs, or $13.36 billion at current exchange. Exports of finished watches made the strongest gains, their value up 9.9 percent to 10.2 billion Swiss francs, or $12.27 billion, according to the Federation of the Swiss Watch Industry. The biggest market for Swiss watches was the U.S., up 12.9 percent to 1.87 billion Swiss francs, or $2.25 billion, followed by Hong Kong, up 15.6 percent to 1.64 billion Swiss francs, or $1.97 billion. The fastest-growing market was China, which bounded 41.7 percent to 279.5 million Swiss francs, or $336.4 million. In Europe, exports increased 2.7 percent on average, with Italy leading the market. Looking ahead, the federation expects exports to continue to increase in 2005. — Emilie Marsh
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EXCLUSIVE: Sarah Rutson has been tapped to Build New American Fashion Group. The parent of Joie, Equipment and Current/Elliott hired the merchant to rev up its brands and expand its portfolio into designer, beauty and lifestyle categories. Read more on WWD.com, link in bio. #wwdfashion
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Meet actress Lucy Boynton, who plays opposite Naomi Watts in the recently released Netflix series "Gypsy." Boynton stopped by WWD to talk about her upcoming projects and her nomadic lifestyle. Get all the details on WWD.com. #wwdeye (📷: @dandoperalski)