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Italian Company Meltin’ Pot Turns to Ecommerce

Meltin’ Pot is looking to the Internet to help expand its customer base with the launch of its first online store today.

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“After years of diffidence, people are getting used to shopping on the Internet, even more so for products such as ours,” said Augusto Romano, general director of the Puglia, Italy-based Meltin’ Pot. “After all, it’s [become] faster and easier to find a wider range of merchandise, and it’s [become] safer.”

This story first appeared in the October 1, 2009 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

Meltin’ Pot’s first online retail presence will also be its first stand-alone branded store. While the label is available at 1,500 points of sale, there are no brick-and-mortar Meltin’ Pot stores. Romano targets sales of 600,000 euros, or about $878,000 at current exchange, in the first year of the e-commerce shop. The company reported sales of 40 million euros, or $58.8 million at average exchange, in 2008, and expects sales of 60 million euros, or $81.6 million, in 2009.

To develop the site, Meltin’ Pot worked with the Armando Testa advertising agency, and cross-platform communications and digital brand marketing firm Bitmama.

In addition to providing a new revenue stream, the site offers styling and washing tips, “interactive, dynamic and user-friendly navigation,” and is visually and graphically in line with the mood and spirit of the brand, said Romano. A preview of the videos and backstage shots from the winter ad campaign will also be available.

The site will first roll out in the brand’s key markets of Italy and Europe, followed by the U.S. by the end of the year and Asia in the first half of 2010.

“Internet customers have very high expectations and we like to take one step at a time, carefully oiling the machine,” said Romano, who described the site as the brand’s main focus in its retail and communications strategies.

To mark the unveiling of the site, the company with each purchase is giving away gadgets and gifts such as USB keys and denim bags. Meltin’ Pot will also launch the brand’s new men’s five-pocket MP 0001 denim pants online.

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