Armani aims to boost bags, shoes offer

Thu Sep 20, 2012 10:51am EDT
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By Antonella Ciancio

MILAN (Reuters) - Giorgio Armani is to broaden his line of bags and shoes to meet the growing demand for easy-to-wear and timeless fashion items and boost the Italian designer's profit margins.

Sales of accessories are the fastest-growing sector in the luxury goods industry because they offer design pieces that fit wardrobes easily and can be worn for more than a season.

Accessories also drive profit margins for luxury makers because prices to customers largely offset production costs.

"The only stores opening on the streets now sell accessories," Armani, whose luxury empire spans from clothing to luxury hotels, told reporters on Thursday after presenting his Emporio Armani young line collection for next summer.

Armani said he expected sales of accessories to account for up to 40 percent of his global turnover in the near-term.

Clothing represented 57 percent of the group's 1.8 billion euros ($2.35 billion) sales in 2011.

The unlisted Armani empire reported a 13.6 percent rise in revenues last year, helped by a 45 percent boost in China, the fastest-growing luxury market.

The Armani group has six clothing lines, including the top Giorgio Armani collections. It also makes sunglasses, fragrances and make-up with licensees such as eyewear maker Luxottica.   Continued...

Italian designer Giorgio Armani poses with models at the end of Emporio Armani Spring/Summer 2013 collection at Milan Fashion Week September 20, 2012. REUTERS/Stefano Rellandini