Prada opened its first store in Belgium on Thursday, on Boulevard de Waterloo, one of the main shopping streets in Brussels. The 4,300-square-foot store offers ready-to-wear, leather goods, accessories and footwear for women and men.
It also features Prada’s signature Italian retail design with its checkered black-and-white marble floor, walls lined with panels of green cloth, and velvet green chairs designed exclusively by Osvaldo Borsani, as well as some contemporary elements including marble display units, geometric-patterned rugs and green Alpi marble doorways.
The opening is a sign that Prada is continuing its global branding efforts despite some challenges. In the first half of the fiscal year ending July 31, the company’s net profit was down 18.2 percent to 116 million euros from 141.9 million euros in the same period last year. Revenues decreased 5.5 percent to 1.46 billion euros compared with 1.55 billion euros last year.
In other recent projects, Prada restored Shanghai’s 1918 mansion Rong Zhai, turning the historic villa into a flexible site for cultural activities, as previously reported. Miuccia Prada and her husband Patrizio Bertelli, chief executive officer of the Milan-based Prada group, have also supported the restoration of Milan’s 19th-century luxury shopping arcade Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II and Palazzo Ca’ Corner della Regina, an opulent Baroque palace on the Grand Canal in Venice reconfigured as an art space for Fondazione Prada. Prada and Bertelli also restored a complex comprising seven existing buildings recovered from a distillery dating back to 1916 and created three structures, all located in Largo Isarco, in the southern part of Milan, to house the new Fondazione Prada headquarters.
Bertelli recently stated that the company is “restructuring our operating processes, which is aimed at providing the group with the tools needed to access an increasingly competitive market.…Having one of the best-known and most respected international brands, with undisputed leadership in design and innovation, means we have to make choices in the pursuit of growth that privilege the preservation of the cultural and stylistic fundamentals that our brand identity is based on.”
Bertelli also said Prada’s “digital transformation continues apace, enhanced by the launch of e-commerce in all markets, including China. Meanwhile, our dedicated team has expanded significantly to complete the digital presence of group brands and to pursue the important aim of offering a seamless online and off-line shopping experience.”