Moncler's Remo Ruffini on the role of physical retail in the luxury industry
today Nov 18, 2018
Interviewed by journalist and broadcaster Enrico Mentana at the 23rd Fashion & Luxury Summit organised by Pambianco and Deutsche Bank in Milan on November 14, the CEO of Moncler, Remo Ruffini, emphasised that even in today’s increasingly digitalised world, brick-and-mortar stores will always play a key role for the luxury industry.
“E-commerce currently accounts for approximately 6-8% of our revenue, and we estimate it could reach 15-20%, but physical retail will still remain a factor in luxury goods sales. People who once didn’t are now strolling down commercial high streets, especially consumers in their 20s; and travel retail has become increasingly significant,” said Ruffini.
“What we tried to change was the energy and approach in our stores, to create a more appealing environment for a younger clientèle, which in the last few years has started to have more and more of a connection with our brand. But evolution and tradition must be doled out in a balanced fashion: neglecting our long-established customers, who generate the largest part of our revenue, would indeed be a mistake,” he added.
Talking about evolution, Ruffini told the story of Moncler’s Genius project: “It isn't an absolute novelty. Back in 2004-2005 we collaborated with a series of young designers who helped us reach out to audiences we weren’t familiar with. In choosing the designers who worked on the Genius project, we followed the same approach, in order to have different creative threads, enabling us to interact with young skateboarders, or business executives, or romantic women and those who sought versatile, elegant items, suitable for an evening out too. Previously, there was only one channel, but now there are several, and you need to build a community of people who can exploit them in the best way.”
Ruffini proudly underlined that the Genius project was made possible by Moncler’s ability to adapt its supply chain to a production rhythm that is no longer seasonal but monthly, and to be extremely swift in promoting the collection’s successive launches.
Asked by Mentana about the situation in Italy, Ruffini replied: “There clearly are some concerns. Italy should be run in a business-like way. Some cities, like Milan, are doing a brilliant job, but the whole country must make an effort, otherwise market volatility is destined to increase. For our part, we are trying to export more and more.”
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