Salvatore Ferragamo looks to the web to lure young consumers

Sun Sep 22, 2013 6:24pm EDT
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By Isla Binnie

MILAN (Reuters) - Italian fashion house Salvatore Ferragamo is betting on the Internet to boost its appeal to younger customers alongside revamping its physical stores, its chief executive said on Sunday.

The brand known for its leather shoes worn by celebrities from Lady Gaga to Angelina Jolie aims to adapt to a new generation of fashion consumers who are less susceptible to old modes of advertising, Michele Norsa told Reuters.

"We are talking about young people who are probably not always reading magazines or newspapers and not even watching TV," Norsa said before the brand's show for its spring-summer 2014 collection at Milan fashion week.

"It's fundamental for us to talk to both the loyal, stable customers and to the new generation of consumers."

Norsa said the company would unveil an "innovative" digital offering in early October, complementing a renovation program for its physical stores.

Ferragamo reported a 26 percent rise in core earnings to 131 million euros ($176.97 million) in the first half of 2013, driven by rising sales in Asia and tourists shopping in European fashion hubs, primarily for its leather goods.

"What is inside the store must become a special experience," said Norsa, adding that the company was investing in capital expenditure and people to present its products better.

Retail sales growth has slowed from 24 percent in the first half of 2011 to 8 percent in the six months to June 2013, and the company hopes to improve productivity by renovating its existing stores.   Continued...

A model presents a creation from the Salvatore Ferragamo Spring/Summer 2014 collection during Milan Fashion Week September 22, 2013. REUTERS/Alessandro Garofalo