MILAN — Almost two years after luxury online retailer Giglio.com landed on the Milan Bourse, the company is looking to further grow its international footprint on the back of strong 2022 sales.
The e-tailer, which is publicly listed on the AIM Italia, the Stock Exchange’s program dedicated to small and medium-size companies, posted sales of 51.1 million euros in 2022, up 35 percent year-over-year.
“The world has changed, we’re living a rollercoaster since 2020 with the pandemic, store closures, energy supply snafus and a war at the heart of Europe….Luckily we proved resilient,” said Giuseppe Giglio, the firm’s president and chief executive officer.
Since 2015, the company has grown at a compound annual growth rate of 50 percent. For comparison, Giglio.com revenues stood at 4 million euros in 2010.
Growth last year was accomplished across geographies and especially outside Europe. The company generated 70 percent of its sales abroad, with non-European countries representing 50 percent of its total revenues.
The CEO mentioned the U.S. and the Middle East, as well as Japan and South Korea as among the best-performing areas, skyrocketing in the double- and triple-digit range. For instance, business in the U.S. jumped 40 percent, only partially dented by a contraction in consumer confidence in the last quarter of the year, while South Korea and Taiwan increased 66 percent and 80 percent, respectively.
In 2022, the company improved its international user experience, debuting Korean and Japanese versions of its website. “The Far East is where our youngest clients are concentrated, they are real, digital-savvy Gen Zers embracing our platform via mobile and app,” Giglio said.
Last July it also debuted a Liquid blockchain-based bitcoin used as a token for loyalty programs geared at those geographies.
Giglio touted the public listing in 2021 as an enabler to its growth.
“It provided us with two pillars,” he said. “On the financial and economic front, it allowed us to ramp up our technological infrastructure to reach a far-flung clientele.…On the other side, it gave us standing. We are the first Italian fashion e-commerce player to be publicly listed after Yoox; it allows us to play in a totally different league,” he said.
Functioning as a marketplace with around 200 brick-and-mortar stores as partners, mainly based in Italy, in addition to a few in France and Spain, among other countries, Giglio.com is now seen as an ally rather than a competitor, the executive contended.
“The relationship with our partners has been overhauled since the listing….They are all contributing to our community store which benefits all involved parties, and our conversations with them move from a completely different point of view now,” Giglio said.
Part of its strength lies in its ability to offer a “monolithic” experience, as the executive put it, providing a cohesive look and feel that tears down any consumer resistance in buying from fashion marketplaces. It also never compromised on telegraphing an Italian or Mediterranean flair via its website and product curation.
The executive said 2023 will entail a focus on markets that have been particularly resilient in terms of luxury consumption.
“Unlike Western European consumers that are proving more cautious with their purchases, Middle and Far Eastern consumers are feeling less pressure from inflation and the war and have higher spending power. Focusing on those countries will help us lift the average shopping cart and average receipt values,” he said.
Having started the first e-commerce venture in 1996 out of his family company’s stores in Palermo, Giglio looked with caution at the serious uptick in online sales over the pandemic years.
“I don’t think that the shift from brick-and-mortar to online sales is to be attributed entirely to the pandemic. It was more of a generational shift in the target consumers of our key products,” he said. “Since 1996 the transition has been inexorable, it’s now running faster than ever and the pandemic certainly served as a catalyzer of this process, but it’s not the direct cause,” he said.
In 2022, the company opened a new logistics complex in Vimodrone, a little more than six miles outside Milan, achieving a reduction of about 24 to 48 hours in its shipping time. At the end of spring this year, Giglio.com will unveil a new state-of-the-art pole in Palermo covering 75,347 square feet and dedicated to logistics operations and product shootings.
In addition to the Giglio.com business, the Giglio family independently operates five physical boutiques in Palermo, Italy — a business that began in 1965.