Versace to expand Asian store network and range

More stores, broader range, fewer brands as fashion icon tries to double sales.

Versace will open its largest store yet in China this week, part of a concerted plan by the fashion label’s new owners to expand its footprint globally.

Capri Holdings, which also owns Michael Kors and Jimmy Choo, bought Versace from Donatella Versace late last year for US$2.2 billion. It is now implementing a plan to double the label’s worldwide sales with at least 112 new stores scheduled by 2022 along with a refurbishment program for the existing network. The new Beijing store – details of which are scant at present – is a key step in that plan.

Worldwide, Versace has 188 stores currently and wants to reach 300 within three years. Asia will be a big benefactor from the plan, already accounting for more than half the network. China alone has 40.

Along with new openings and revamps of existing stores, Versace will boost its product offer, adding more handbags, footwear and leather goods to its high-end clothing range. Accessories currently account for just 35 per cent of Versace’s sales and the company wants to lift that to 60 per cent.

“It’s very clear: The productivity in our stores is not what it should be,” CEO Jonathan Akeroyd told an investors briefing this week. He plans to double the sales per square foot across the network.

“We need to rapidly increase productivity and this will really be the real driver to take us to our US$2 billion revenue target.”

Versace’s marketing strategy will be revised, with less focus on fashion shows in favour of a stronger social media presence.  

The company has quietly dropped its diffusion brands Versace Collection and Versace Versus and new stores will all bear the core Versace brand name alone.

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