By  on June 13, 2008

MILAN — La Rinascente’s men’s wear department is getting a makeover as part of the historic department store’s drive to move upscale and target a more fashion-hungry customer.

La Rinascente CEO Vittorio Radice gave a tour of the half-refurbished men’s wear floor here last Thursday. The renovations, which have so far been characterized by materials like steel, natural plate and varnished iron, are scheduled for completion by September.

“There has been growth in the men’s industry,” Radice said, referencing cosmetics and fragrances in particular. “Men are faithful customers of department stores. They buy a lot when they travel ... [and] they use the free time they have to shop.”

Work began on La Rinascente’s facelift in 2006 with an overhaul of the accessories floor, followed by women’s ready-to-wear and more recently the addition of a food emporium on the top floor, which looks onto the flank of the Duomo.

The upgrade in the men’s wear department also includes products and in-store materials.

Armani Collezioni, Burberry, C.P. Company, Etro and Fay now sit alongside La Rinascente men’s wear stalwarts Ermenegildo Zegna, Corneliani, Hugo Boss and Valentino. Meanwhile, knitwear and shirts will round out the offering with Brooksfield, Brunello Cucinelli, Malo and Ray Bartel. And from September, Canali, Polo Ralph Lauren and Church’s will be among those joining the ranks. All now have their own shop-in-shops.

“We wanted to create a shop-in-shop format for each brand, where men felt comfortable to shop,” Radice explained.

La Rinascente’s men’s wear department last year generated around 25 percent of the retail group’s 400 million euros, or or $548.3 million at average exchange, in sales.

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