RIFLE UPGRADES AND EXPANDS ABROAD
Rifle, one of the oldest Italian jeanswear brands, is focusing on keen restructuring operations that include further expansion in foreign markets, the opening of monobrand stores in Italy and international fashion capitals, the overall upgrading of the brand’s image and value, together with the launch of a premium capsule collection.
Since January 2014 Rifle is managed by CEO Antonio Arcaro, expert fashion insider. “It took us one year to restructure the brand’s image, product, and re-qualify its distribution in Italy,” commented Arcaro who refers to a general increase in quality content and retail prices for the brand of about +17%. “Presently the brand is sold through 550 selected multibrand stores in Italy and 50 top retailers in Europe, especially based in Eastern Europe, a market where Rifle has been appreciated and is well-known since long.” They also will soon open monobrand stores – first in Italy – in Milan Corso Buenos Aires and Florence by mid 2015 and in Rome and Palermo by maximum mid 2016.
By end 2015 they expect to also reach other multibrand specialists in key markets such as, for instance, German speaking countries and Benelux. “At present we are distributed through 35% wholesale stores and 65% outlet and full price stores (out of whose 85% are outlets and 15% are full price stores). By end 2018, we aim at being distributed by an about 50% through multibrand stores and 50% through wholesale channels.
“We are also considering the entrance of an investment fund,” continues Arcaro who expects that this might happen by 2016. Thanks to the new partner they might also start opening stores internationally starting in Berlin and Roubaix, in France.
In terms of economic results they closed 2014 registering the same revenues registered in 2013, though reaching a healthier position of black numbers. By 2015 they expect to register around €32-33 million sales, while, from 2016 they expect more significant growth (about €45 million sales) and definitely around €70 million by end 2018, also thanks to the new fund’s financial support.
The revamped Rifle collection is a complete total look made up of 130 items for men and 130 pieces for women, even if the core business remain men’s styles. Average prices for the collection at retail are around €70-80. Since s/s 2015 they signed an agreement for a new footwear line produced by Tuscany-based Brand Box, casual footwear specialist. The collection also includes accessories – all produced internally.
From f/w 2015/2016, they will also offer a limited edition capsule collection of about 10 pieces characterized by a vintage image and great care for details, including a small typical metal Florence lily element as homage to the brand’s Tuscan origins. Average prices for this capsule collection are €90-110.
Maria Cristina Pavarini