Benetton has announced further detailed plans of a three-year program of reorganization. They confirmed their decision to entail the divestiture of the smaller brands owned by the group, including Jean’s West, Killer Loop, Anthology of Cottons and Playlife by the end of 2014, while maximising in the marketplace the competitiveness and growth potential of the group’s two key brands: United Colors of Benetton and Sisley.

They aim to concentrate on their most strategic markets. For this, by the end of the program they will stop operating in 60 markets out of the 120 where they are presently working. The group’s main objective is to maintain a constant and substantial turnover, offsetting the exit from countries that are no longer strategic with a like-for-like growth in sales, whilst improving corporate profitability, within three years.

Benetton will close 53 stores in Italy, including 16 directly managed Playlife stores, 16 United Colors of Benetton, and 11 Sisley stores. As a consequence, this decision will also bring 200 job cuts to employees working in the above mentioned stores.

The three-year reorganization program will organise the company into three separate entities: one focused directly on the brands, one on manufacturing and one on real estate management (at the end of the process, all three entities will be directly controlled by Edizione S.r.l., the holding company of the Benetton family).

Some of the planned steps include the concentration of investments in flagship and key stores directly owned by the Group, the rollout of an innovative franchising program for key stores managed by third parties, a radical improvement of the store network, and the launch of new and innovative new retail formats for the United Colors of Benetton and Sisley stores.

A further progressive development will also concentrate on developing accessories and licenses. The agreement recently announced with the Puig Group for fragrances is one of the first steps taken in this direction.