MILAN — Aiming at increasingly putting in place a customer-centric strategy and opening up to Millennials, Peuterey is reorganizing its company structure.
Tiziano Bonacchi has been appointed new chief executive officer of Peuterey Group SpA, succeeding Francesco Pesci, who joined the company in February 2015. Bonacchi will continue to hold his previous role of chief financial officer. He first joined Peuterey in 2009.
Alice Carli has been promoted to head of business development and global marketing and Fabio Piazza, who was ceo of the China region, will expand his role to the Asia-Pacific area.
“We are focusing on the customer,” said Francesca Lusini, president of the Tuscany-based, family-owned outerwear firm and daughter of the founder. “We need to be pragmatic, fast and innovative, have a young and fresh vision, and be flexible, changing according to the situations.”
The company is embracing “reality telling,” with new ads for fall photographed by Mert Alas and Marcus Piggott to bow at Pitti Uomo in June, with art direction by Giovanni Bianco, and models Filip Hrivnak and Marjan Jonkman. A new viral video campaign filmed as a sketch or a reality show, portraying a cast of international models, each wondering on the pronunciation of the Peuterey brand, will bow on Sept. 1.
“We get asked this question a lot,” said Lusini with a small laugh. “It’s a name that goes against the marketing rules, which demand short monikers easy to pronounce, and we are addressing this, speaking to the real public.”
Emphasizing the increased visibility of the brand, which is designed by creative director Federico Curradi, Lusini said Jennifer Lopez wears a Talitha military green jacket in her recent “Ain’t Your Mama” video. Lusini revealed that Felicity Jones wears Peuterey in “Inferno,” the new Ron Howard-directed movie based on the Dan Brown book and due out in October. The movie was filmed in Florence, Italy, so there is an additional link with the company, which is based just outside the city. The day after the film hits theaters, the company will begin to sell the Felicity Jacket, an exclusive design inspired by the look worn by the actress.
In February, the company said it was going to combine the men’s and women’s collections and show in September with a see-now-buy-now model. The brand will continue to present its collections in Milan — but twice a year. Peuterey is expanding globally, aiming to develop more as a fashion rather than sportswear brand.
To further support this strategy, the firm is expanding its online reach from Europe and the U.S. to China. Peuterey’s e-store in the region will be active starting Sept. 1 with a partner that is part of the Lane Crawford Joyce group. “The feedback from the division is encouraging,” said Lusini of the channel. “We are seeing like-for-like sales rising 60 percent with the spring 2016 season.”
The company has been rationalizing its network of wholesalers and strengthening partnerships. In addition to consolidating business in the U.S. with Barneys New York, Neiman Marcus, Bloomingdale’s and Saks Fifth Avenue, as well as Barneys, Isetan and Beams in Japan and in Korea, the brand is entering U.K. and French department stores with the fall 2017 season.
While expanding globally, Italy accounts for 72 percent of sales. “We have also improved our selling ceremony to satisfy the customer,” said Lusini, noting a 10 percent growth in Europe and a 40 percent gain in China in the first quarter of the year.
Wholesale accounts for 80 percent of revenues. There are 20 stores, of which 13 are in Europe and seven are in Asia. Sales in the 2015 fiscal year, which closed on March 31, reached 75 million euros, or $83.2 million, at average exchange rate.
In order to help fund its expansion, in 2014 Lusini revealed that the company had tapped Deloitte as adviser to evaluate the sale of a minority stake. Asked about the possibility of taking on a partner, Lusini said the company is “very much courted,” and that “discussions with potential investors are always possible,” but she underscored that the “eventual partner must share a common vision” in the medium-long term.
“We are in no rush,” she said.
Peuterey was one of the first companies to join Italy’s Elite project, which envisions a stock market listing down the road. “An IPO is premature, but Elite has helped us to shape a company culture,” she said.