Miu Miu on Growth Fast Track

The Prada Group brand has opened its first boutique in Brazil, at the JK Iguatemi mall in São Paulo.

Miu Miu at the JK Iguatemi mall in São Paulo.

MILAN — As Prada Group’s chief executive officer Patrizio Bertelli predicted earlier this year, the company is forging ahead with its expansion strategy for Miu Miu, which has opened its first boutique in Brazil, at the JK Iguatemi mall in São Paulo.

This story first appeared in the July 17, 2012 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

The group, which controls the Miu Miu brand, is aiming at further developing the label with more directly owned stores. The Italian fashion group plans to increase Miu Miu’s presence “in markets with high potential for the luxury goods industry, and in more mature markets that are still not entirely covered by [the company’s] retail network,” according to a spokesman.

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Brazil’s “vast” potential, he said, stems not only from the increasing local demand and interest for luxury goods, but also from “the large number of tourists that the country draws every year in its most important cities.” The company is “evaluating additional opportunities to further develop the region,” and is “constantly monitoring” the brand’s marketing.

The group, he concluded, “is especially focused on high potential markets where clients have developed a growing awareness of fashion.”

In the first quarter ended April 30, Miu Miu posted 30.8 percent sales growth, totaling 107.3 million euros, or $141.6 million at average exchange. During a conference call with analysts to discuss that period’s financial results, administration and finance director Donatello Galli said the group was “well on track for the brand to reach sales of 700 million or 800 million euros [$857.3 million or $980 million at current exchange] by 2013 or 2014. Miu Miu has a lot of potential in China and other emerging markets.”

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There are now 101 directly operated Miu Miu stores.

Designed by Miu Miu’s longtime go-to architect Roberto Baciocchi, the one-story boutique in São Paulo covers 2,322 square feet and carries clothing, bags, shoes and accessories.

The facade stands out with a punctured panel lit from the back, which contrasts with the interior, with its walls covered by soft golden brocade curtains, full-length mirrors, brown marble floors and beige carpeting.

In May, Miu Miu opened its first boutique in Mexico, at the Santa Fe Saks Fifth Avenue, located outside of Mexico City, and its first flagship in Morocco, in Casablanca’s Morocco Mall.

Earlier this month, the brand opened new venues at Paris’ Charles de Gaulle Airport, and in Taipei, Taiwan, in the prestigious Taipei 101 Financial Center Shopping Mall.

After 75 openings in 2011, the group confirmed an average of 80 a year in both 2012 and 2013. In 2012, 50 percent of openings are planned in “fast-growing markets” such as China, other Asian countries, the Middle East, Brazil and Morocco.

In the quarter ended April 30, the Italian luxury firm’s net profits climbed to 121.7 million euros, or $160.6 million, up 111 percent from 57.7 million euros, or $80.7 million, in the same period the previous year.

Revenues gained 47.9 percent to 686.7 million euros, or $906.4 million, from 464.3 million euros, or $650 million.

Dollar figures are converted at average exchange rates for the periods to which they refer.