- In recent years, Prada Group has tried to open a large number of its own stores every year in key countries (on July 28, their number in 70 countries of the world became equal to 621). Has the strategy changed following a slowdown in emerging economies, reduced demand in America and Europe, and a 27% drop in the group's net income last year?
- I would not say that our strategy has somehow changed radically. In the context of the evolution of retail sales, we are looking for ways to rationalize the business, so if the changes in one of the markets are significant, then we can change our retail network, removing some points from it or replacing them with new ones. Nevertheless, the development of its own network remains one of the priority tasks for the group.
- GUM has a special audience: first of all, these are tourists, to a lesser extent from Russian regions, and more from China, as well as Europe. At the press conference on the opening of the new boutique, you mentioned that you would like to attract a new audience for Prada's Moscow points of sale with this store. Did you mean primarily Chinese buyers?
- You know, the positioning of the Prada brand in Moscow before the opening of the store in GUM was consistent: we had a mono-brand boutique in Stoleshnikov Lane, as well as stores in TsUM, which were intended for a different audience, not tied to a specific brand. Of course, opening the space in GUM, we understood that this is one of the places of attraction for tourists from all countries, but we hope that Prada will also find buyers from Moscow here. Our main idea was not to reach as many tourists as possible, but to be in one of the most important points on the city map. I think that here we will be able to strike a balance: one half of the future clients, in my opinion, will consist of tourists, and the other half of Muscovites.
- You mentioned that Bosco is your strategic partner, thanks to which the opening of a boutique in GUM took place. As you know, it has a fairly developed regional network, in particular, there are luxury stores in the building of the Sea Station in Sochi. Are you considering further expanding the geography of Prada stores by opening new boutiques in the regions together with Bosco?
- For us, cooperation with Mr. Kusnirovich turned out to be really very pleasant, so we are open to discuss the further development of our relations.
Vera Zenkovskaya (Prada), Mikhail Kusnirovich (GUM), Stefano Cantino (Prada), Teimuraz Guguberidze (GUM) © Prada press service
- What is the structure of the brand's profit in Russia: does it live more on the sale of accessories (like, for example, Louis Vuitton), or does clothing make up a significant share of the profit (like in Giorgio Armani)?
- Our profit is balanced in three main categories: apparel, accessories and footwear. Since the independent development of the retail network, we have not opened stores exclusively dedicated to any one category of goods. A good example is the new boutique in GUM: it is built according to the total look principle, here the client can find absolutely everything, from small accessories and luggage to all possible clothing options from commercial and runway lines. We are confident that we have every opportunity to grow in all of these categories. We also believe that our shows set the tone for Fashion Weeks, so we want to protect the category of clothing as much as possible without removing it entirely from Prada stores.
- A capsule collection for women was created especially for the opening in GUM. Are you planning to release similar collections that are available only in one city or store on an ongoing basis?
- Our team is always looking for opportunities to release special products that are needed in a specific market. Each store always has a so-called "international collection", but in general, the choice in the various of them may differ significantly depending on the market requirements. Therefore, the emergence of special capsule collections is quite possible in the future.
1 of 7 Prada boutique in GUM © Prada press service Prada boutique in GUM © Prada press service Prada boutique in GUM © Prada press service Prada boutique in GUM © Prada press service Prada boutique in GUM © Prada press service Prada boutique in GUM © press service Prada Prada boutique in GUM © press service Prada
Do you think the Made in Italy label still matters?
- The Made in Italy label speaks of design heritage, creativity, culture and tradition. The delocalization of certain industries cannot and should not be seen as opposed to continuous quality improvement as well as the expansion of creative uniqueness, although everyone understands that some luxury items, especially the most labor-intensive to manufacture, can only be made in Italy. Good quality, however, can be achieved in other countries with a tradition of craftsmanship, where there is production potential. In this case, the place of production must be clearly indicated on the product. Prada Group currently has 13 factories in Europe, 11 of them in Italy, one in the UK and another in France.>