Historic Italian jeans brand Carrera wants to expand its business and increase its perception globally. It has just launched some new higher-end yet still affordable products aimed at the middle/high market. It will also soon start expanding in the US.
Carrera was born more than 50 years ago and is Italy’s bestselling jeans brand for men’s pants (with a 6.7% market share–even if the leader in this segment is OVS holding the 8.7% bottoms market share). Eighty percent of the five million jean pairs Carrera produces are sold in Italy through about 1,000 doors and its 40 own Carrera Point stores. It sells through fast moving consumer goods retail for 60% of its sales and 40% through retailer at prices that range between €29.90 and €49.90, though its aim is now to further expand internationally and offer highly research products.
To reach such goals the company has just developed two new product lines that it launched in Europe and will start expanding in the US by f/w 2018-19 through a newly signed agreement with a partner in Los Angeles.
The two new products are Passport Jeans, a highly comfortable five-pocket jean model for men devised for frequent travelers and made with a special denim woven similar to a sweatshirt fabric. It is completed by pockets meant to carry a passport, documents and cellphone without losing or damaging them. Another new jean model for women is Legg-Jeans Aloe, made with a special stretch fiber, Spintech Elastic, and treated with aloe vera. Prices of these products in Italy vary from €39.90 for Legg-Jeans Aloe up to €69.90 for Passport Aloe, while in the US they will be sold at prices ranging between US$89-US$99.
“We will start selling these jeans to a few selected US retailers–about 100 for men and 100 for women–even if there are a total of about 2,000 retailers we might sell to there,” says Gianluca Tacchella, CEO, Carrera.
In approaching the American market he studied a new strategy: “In the US market jeans are considered commodities instead we wanted to offer something different that distinguishes us from the local vast offer. For this reason we also chose to step in a higher segment than the average jeans that are sold there,” he adds.
As part of this new phase Carrera also wants to sell via e-commerce in the US by 2019. It has sold online in Europe since 2012.
Carrera was founded in 1965 by brothers Imerio, Domenico and Tito Tacchella. Since 2001 Gianluca Tacchella, son of Tito, manages it as CEO. The company is completely vertical as it is based in Italy, near Verona, and also manages two of its own productive subsidiaries in Tajikistan since the 1990s. These two companies grow their own BCI cotton, spin yarns, weave fabrics and produce jeans. The company’s yearly production capacity is about seven million meter of ring-ring denim and it produces over five million pairs of jeans. Its yearly turnover is €50 million and it employs more than 3,000 people. “We chose to expand in the US as we can sell to the US directly from Tajikistan as commerce is custom-free between the two countries,” adds Tacchella.
“These days we have to fight huge giants in the low cost segment like, for instance, Primark or others like Amazon now willing to hit the market with its own denim line,” he explains. “We think we can still offer a brand that has a greater value and appeal as many already recognize and appreciate for its quality and history. Through the years we decided to always keep one brand only and it proved successful. When our competitors tried to enter the higher-end market they always launched new brands but the market didn’t recognize their full brand value. We, instead, have always sold one brand only and are still here. Also in launching this new project we prefer to keep faith to our own identity as it is a guarantee of quality and trustworthiness for our customer.”