Boggi signs rue Marbeuf lease; part of major global expansion
Boggi, the Milanese label known for its contemporary gentleman style, has inked a lease to take a major retail space on rue Marbeuf, in the centre of the Golden Triangle of Paris for shoppers.
The boutique, is one of eight Boggi plans to open by the end of 2018 in France, doubling the number of its French stores, two of them in Paris. Marseilles, Lille and Strasbourg will also host new Boggi stores.
The openings are part of a major global expansion by Boggi – which will open around 30 new stores annually worldwide over the next several years. Boggi currently has 160 stores – 60 of them in Italy – including some 40 franchises, and 11 duty-free stores.
Begun in 1939 by Milan-born Luigi Boggi, the brand has built a loyal global following among entrepreneurs, keen to dress with Italian sartorial style, without too much pain at the cash register.
“We want to own this city, and increase the awareness of Boggi. Our consumer research shows that we have a very strong perception: made in Italy, excellent style, very good quality, and very good store experience,” said Chief Marketing Officer Claudia Lunati, over coffee in Boggi’s boulevard des Italiens flagship in Paris.
Boggi’s ambitious new project comes after it drafted in several new senior Italian executives with international experience. Lunati, who joined Boggi from VF this year, noted that Boggi has an in-house academy which trains staff in brand DNA and how to follow, service and style clients.
All told, Boggi employs 750 people, and will reach 800 staff early next year. Annual sales are estimated at over 200 million euros. The house is controlled by the Zaccardi family from Monza. The founding family sold out in 2003.
Design comes from a team of 15 based in Ticino, Switzerland, Boggi’s international headquarters. Though the house sub-contracts all production to top Italian manufactures, while shirts are made in China with Esquel, the giant shirt-maker.
The brand’s medium-size stores are around 350 square meters, allowing it to offer a full range of Boggi product. The house averages just under 8,000 euros annually per square meter, a relatively high score for a menswear label. The average ticket per customers is about 300 euros. However, prices vary from an entry level 350 euros for a cotton herring bone garment-dyed blazer, to 1,200 euros for a pure cashmere sports jacket, the sort that Tuscan dukes and Milan luxury barons wear with contrast cardigans and refined knit ties.
“The DNA of Boggi is Italian Style, Made in Italy. Our aesthetic is easy formal, like wearing a blazer with a T-Shirt, and even jeans. It’s the Italian weekend look. That’s about two-thirds of our sales,” said Chief Merchandising Officer Giuseppe Galasso, who joined from Tommy Hilfiger last year, pointing from casual to haute classy blazers.
Boggi certainly does not ignite trends. It never stages runway shows, and its design team labour in obscurity. However, its ability to provide plush Italian contemporary elegance at a very reasonable price is impressive. There are echoes of Loro Piana, Zegna, Massimo Piombo and even Brunello Cucinelli, yet somehow everything does come steeped in the Boggi gentlemanly style.
This fall, the house plans a significant ad push with billboards, magazine, newspaper, influencers, digital and advertorials in a bid to capture younger customers – a fresher generation that wants a little street, hence Boggi’s drawstring chalk-stripe urban pants.
“Our research shows that once our shoppers actually get into our stores and try out product, then 95 percent of them say they become loyal ambassadors. That’s a great result,” concludes Lunati.
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