Boggi Mi­lano in Midst of Euro­pean Shop-Open­ing Of­fen­sive

WWD Digital Daily - - The Reviews - BY MELISSA DRIER

The men’s tai­lored-cloth­ing spe­cial­ist is open­ing 10 doors in Ger­many and neigh­bor­ing mar­kets, with five to fol­low next year.

BER­LIN — In a time when shop clo­sures have be­come some­thing of the norm, Boggi Mi­lano has em­barked on a shopopen­ing spree in Europe.

The Ital­ian tai­lored-cloth­ing spe­cial­ist is ad­ding 10 stores to its ex­ist­ing re­tail net­work in Ger­many, Aus­tria, Switzer­land, France and Benelux in the fourth quar­ter of 2018. More­over, five large-scale Boggi Mi­lano stores are slated to open in the re­gion in the first three months of 2019.

Founded in Italy 80 years ago and head­quar­tered in the Swiss can­ton of Tessin, Boggi Mi­lano op­er­ates more than 165 stores in 35 coun­tries. The first mono-brand store opened on Mi­lan's Pi­azza San Ba­bila in 1964. Turin fol­lowed in 1987 and Geneva in 1996. Fol­low­ing a change of own­er­ship in 2003, when it was ac­quired by the Ital­ian fam­ily Zac­cardi, Boggi's own-store net­work has ex­panded rapidly, and the brand is to be found solely in com­pany-owned or fran­chised mono­brand stores.

Ger­many is par­tic­u­larly in Boggi's fo­cus, and the com­pany has 16 doors in the coun­try in cities in­clud­ing Ham­burg, Ber­lin, Frank­furt, Hei­del­berg, Karl­sruhe, Mu­nich, Nurem­berg, Leipzig and Mun­ster. Stuttgart opened this week, and 2019 will see two ad­di­tional doors in Mu­nich. Ger­many gen­er­ates 14 per­cent of the brand's to­tal sales, though the com­pany does not dis­close fi­nan­cial fig­ures.

For its re­tail pres­ence, Boggi prefers two-floor stores of about 2,150 to 3,200 square feet in city cen­ter lo­ca­tions and spa­ces of around 1,600 square feet in shop­ping cen­ters. The lat­est stores have a new look and ex­ist­ing doors in key cities in Ger­many will be re­fur­bished to re­flect Boggi's new in-store de­sign. This has been light­ened up con­sid­er­ably, with a re­duced use of wood for a more open feel, while the light­ing it­self has a warmer tone. The brand's sig­na­ture orange, more of a raw leather brown, is com­ple­mented by mid­blue shades, as seen in the stores' invit­ing new lounge ar­eas, where cus­tomers can sim­ply sit and re­lax.

An­other fea­ture is the ded­i­cated area for ac­ces­sories, which joins store sec­tions for Boggi's for­mal line of tai­lored cloth­ing as well as ac­ces­sories, the in­creas­ingly im­por­tant “easy for­mal line” of tai­lored sep­a­rates and more ca­su­al­wear, and Su Misura, or made-to-mea­sure.

Dressed man­nequins are plen­ti­ful, as are floor-to-ceil­ing pho­to­graphs of looks from the sea­son's ad cam­paign, as Boggi has found that many cus­tomers, both on­line and in-store, like to buy the en­tire looks as sug­gested.

“Our store push is ba­si­cally about strength­en­ing our pres­ence in mar­kets where Boggi is known and per­form­ing,” com­mented Giuseppe Galasso, chief mer­chan­dis­ing of­fi­cer. Ger­many is known as a dif­fi­cult mar­ket to break into and sus­tain, but Galasso coun­tered, “We are do­ing fine in Ger­many. I think we are in a mar­ket seg­ment where there's no one else. That is, no one of­fers a prod­uct with an Ital­ian feel in this price and en­vi­ron­ment.”

Boggi Mi­lano suits re­tail from 400 eu­ros to 1,000 eu­ros, de­pend­ing on the con­struc­tion and fab­ri­ca­tion, with madeto-mea­sure, which is of­fered in 28 stores in Europe, run­ning up­ward of 1,000 eu­ros for suits. The core price point of sport coats is 400 eu­ros in the ready-to-wear col­lec­tion, which in­clude tai­lored busi­ness looks and more re­laxed mod­els in wo­vens and jer­seys. Trousers and ca­sual pants range from 119 eu­ros to 179 eu­ros, shirts 65 eu­ros to 129 eu­ros, sweaters from 99 eu­ros to 449 eu­ros for a cash­mere cus­tom-fit cardi­gan, and out­er­wear from 199 eu­ros for a light shirt jacket to 795 eu­ros for a wo­ven yak town coat.

“We are a con­sumer-cen­tric prod­uct brand,” stated Galasso. Re­gard­ing Boggi's clien­tele in Ger­many, he said “our sweet spot is the 30- to 45-year-old, but we see we are also en­gag­ing younger con­sumers… like the youngest brother look­ing for a suit for his first in­ter­view or his first date. For him, we are in­spi­ra­tional, as the 25-yearolds want to look 35. For older guys,” he con­tin­ued, “We are a com­mod­ity brand.”

Boggi's on­line busi­ness has grown over the last three years, and gen­er­ates 5 per­cent of sales. “It's a very im­por­tant store for us,” he said. Boggi has also gone om­nichan­nel, win­ning the 2018 Re­tail Tech­nol­ogy Awards Europe for Best

In­store So­lu­tion and Best Om­nichan­nel so­lu­tion for its in­te­grated pro­gram. Boggi of­fers Click & Col­lect (buy-on­line, pick-upin-store), Re­serve in Store (browse-and­book-on­line, try-on-in-store) and Or­der in Store (prod­ucts not phys­i­cally present due to limited space can be or­dered on ap­pop­ti­mized tablets in store, and de­liv­ered to the cus­tomer's home or other de­sired ad­dress).

Boggi con­sid­ers the in-store ex­pe­ri­ence so cru­cial to the brand's growth and suc­cess that it set up an in­ter­nal busi­ness school, the Boggi Mi­lano Academy, in

2016. The cour­ses are con­ceived for all staff, and pro­vide guide­lines on what it calls the “Boggi Mi­lano Sell­ing Cer­e­mony” to pro­vide ev­ery cus­tomer a note­wor­thy ex­pe­ri­ence in all Boggi Mi­lano stores world­wide.

The brand's home mar­ket of Italy, where it op­er­ates 70 stores, re­mains the sales mo­tor. Be­yond West­ern Europe, Boggi also has stores in Hun­gary, Rus­sia, the Ukraine, Ge­or­gia and Ro­ma­nia. With 22 stores, Boggi has a strong pres­ence in the Mid­dle East, and what Galasso termed a “good pres­ence” in Asia, with stores in Sin­ga­pore, Ma­cao, Malaysia, South Korea, “and for sure China in the near fu­ture.” Paraguay, Peru and, as of this sea­son, Mex­ico are also on Boggi's re­tail map, but at present, the U.S. is not on Boggi's radar, he re­marked, though it seems to have at­tracted Amer­i­can con­sumers' at­ten­tion. “Eight per­cent of our e-com­merce sales come from the U.S.,” he noted.

Up­stairs in the new Boggi Mi­lano storein Stuttgart.

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