MILAN — According to Statista.com, the market value for denim fabric amounted to $90 billion in 2019 and is expected to increase to $105 billion by 2023. Denim jeans are by far the most valuable product in the denim industry, though there has been an increase in value for every type of denim clothing item.
While figures regarding the denim sector in Italy last year and the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the sector are still being analyzed, Fashion Box SpA, the company that owns the Replay brand, reported “a decline that was significantly lower than the industry average,” Matteo Sinigaglia, chief executive officer of the group, said on Tuesday. He also touted an uptick in the performance in the first quarter of 2021.
Last year, sales amounted to 234.3 million euros, down 11.4 percent, as a result of the pandemic, the lockdowns and the restrictions imposed by the governments. Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization amounted to 10 percent of turnover.
Exports increased last year, reaching 92 percent of total sales. Europe represented 72 percent of sales, and the rest of the world accounted for the remaining 20 percent, with a particular focus on the Middle East and Asia.
“The company ‘machine’ reacted very quickly, and this allowed us to manage the situation in the best way possible,” Sinigaglia said. “As things stand, it is, of course, difficult for me to make predictions about 2021, as we don’t yet know if the lockdowns will be extended and there is currently a lot of uncertainty surrounding the progress of vaccination campaigns; having said that, we shall continue to constantly monitor the situation in order to promptly react to any developments. At present, I can, however, anticipate that we managed to record a 10 percent increase in turnover during the first quarter of 2021 compared with last year.”
Also a consequence of the pandemic, the e-commerce channel grew 8 percent last year compared with 2019. In particular, the channel saw 16 percent growth in Eastern Europe and a 15 percent gain in Northern Europe.
Unsurprisingly, given the lockdowns, retail sales were down 25 percent, although the market in the Middle East was a bright spot, closing the year up 7 percent.
The wholesale channel, on the other hand, was less penalized by the situation, containing its decline to 5.9 percent overall, thanks to a 50 percent increase in Asia, and a 28 percent gain in the Middle East. This helped offset the 10.8 percent decrease recorded in Europe.
Founded in 1981, Asolo, Italy-based Fashion Box is a leader in the denim segment, creating and distributing casualwear, accessories and footwear for men, women and children under the brands Replay, Replay & Sons and We Are Replay. Present in more than 50 countries, the company’s wholesale distribution network includes 4,000 stores, 120 single-brand stores and 90 corners and shops-in-shop.
As reported, Replay in February partnered with the Aston Martin Cognizant Formula One team as the historic British automotive brand returned to Grand Prix racing after a hiatus of more than 60 years.
Replay is the official denim partner of the racing team, dressing its drivers Sebastian Vettel — a four-time World Drivers’ champion who previously competed for Ferrari — and Lance Stroll in more relaxed moments away from the grid. Stroll is the son of Lawrence Stroll, the businessman behind the transformation of the Michael Kors and Tommy Hilfiger brands with Silas Chou in the ’90s and early in the following decade. Lawrence Stroll is also part owner of the Aston Martin team.
Also, in 2020 Replay inked a four-year agreement with New Zealand Rugby to become the official formalwear and denimwear partner of the national rugby teams All Blacks, All Blacks Sevens and Maori All Blacks, known also for the signature haka dance they perform ahead of each game.
As part of the deal, the company said it would develop a co-branded capsule collection, flanked by a range of marketing initiatives, including commercials and promotional activities to be fronted by Beauden Barrett, with whom Replay also sealed a deal for four years. The All Blacks fly-half has received the World Rugby Player of the Year accolade for two years in a row, in 2016 and 2017.