MILAN — Prada last week inaugurated its Hong Kong flagship and said it plans to roll out another 13 stores in China by the end of next year, investing more than $41.94 million, or 35 million euros, in the country.
The Italian luxury group said the Hong Kong store, a two-level space measuring about 9,700 square feet, will be the company’s second-largest unit in Asia after its Tokyo Epicenter concept store, opened in June 2003.
“Hong Kong is no longer just the international platform for the Far East; it increasingly represents a launch pad into the Chinese market,” Miuccia Prada said in a statement. “It creates the trends and acts as a showcase for this market.”
Elsewhere, Prada denied a local press report that it’s aiming for its long-awaited initial public offering in October. Prada said in a press release that although “it can confirm the strong improvement of its financial figures, there are no plans for a public listing in 2004.”
Prada has said it wants to go public before June 2005, when it must repay $838.81 million, or 700 million euros, worth of convertible bonds. The company accumulated debt through past acquisitions of labels like Helmut Lang, Jil Sander and Church’s.
Prada said that China is its fastest-growing market worldwide. It said revenue from China grew 80 percent in the first four months of the year, while that from Hong Kong grew 25 percent. Prada said it expects to double its revenues in China this year compared to 2003 figures.
The Asia-Pacific region generates about 10 percent of Prada’s consolidated revenue, which came to $1.63 billion, or 1.36 billion euros, in 2003. Prada said sales of the spring/summer collection are up 20 percent this year compared with those of the spring-summer collection the year before.
Architect Roberto Baciocchi designed the Hong Kong store, located in the Alexandra House Building on the corner of Ice House Street and Charter Road. It features a black glass facade, a black marble suspended staircase and Prada’s signature pale green walls.
The ground floor is dedicated to women’s ready-to-wear, shoes, bags and accessories, while the second floor features men’s wear and the Prada Sport line.