Ciesse Piumini, an Italian outerwear brand born in 1976 and beloved by ’80s Paninari, has come back. After some passages of property, in 2011 it became part of Sport Fashion Service Srl, whose 90% was acquired by Mittel, an Italian investment company, in 2019. Fabio Primerano, executive president, Sport Fashion Service, explained the brand’s relaunch plans.
Where is Ciesse now and where is it heading?
Ciesse wants to gain its success back and expand internationally by keeping focused on the urban, lifestyle and outdoor segments. Under the Sport Fashion Service umbrella there are three brands: Ciesse Piumini, a contemporary transversal outerwerwear selection of urban jackets still rooted in the brand's sports origins. This selection also includes the Ciesse Piumini 976, a capsule collection aimed at a young streetwear-minded and cool target. Ciesse Piumini Active offers technical protection for skiing, hiking and professional high-mountain activities; and West Scout, also bought by the group in the past, is a technical apparel brand devised for Alpine activities, also keeping an eye on fashion trends. Today Ciesse is selling through 600 stores in Italy and through selected doors like, for instance, El Corte Ingles in Spain, though also in Norway and Austria. Despite this its sales in foreign markets count for less than 10%. We closed 2019 registering €26million in sales and an EBITDA of about 20% of €5 million. Our aim is to close 2020 reaching about €29 million in sales while we aim for €40 million by 2024. We want to further expand and grow internationally and in particular also in Japan, a country that always appreciated us, and Russia.
How do you aim to reach such results?
Along with our main collection we want to continue working with specific capsules and offer them by serving specific clients–as we are doing with Ciesse Piumini 976. For this we also want to collaborate with external partners who can design capsules on the creative side and distribute through specialized channels to promote the brand internationally. In addition to our showroom in Pomezia, near Rome, we want to open a new showroom concept in Milan this year. Through this opening we not only want to attract Italian and international trade people but consumers. We also want to make our main collection grow through international multibrand brick-and-mortar stores as we believe they still play a key role in distribution.
Considering that e-commerce is constantly growing and physical stores are closing why are you betting on this strategy?
According to forecasts in a few years about 30% brick-and-mortar stores will close as they won’t be able to face e-commerce expansion. Starting from 2020, instead, we are offering retailers more qualified service and technology that can support them. Today the advantages for consumers from buying from online platforms are mainly two–lower prices and the comfort to buy from home or remotely. To satisfy all consumers’ requests we have created a special platform through which retailers can manage their shops, guarantee a vast assortment of products and the same prices through all channels (on- and offline). In addition, as consumers still prefer human relationship and the professional support from retailers, they can either buy in store or from home though have their purchases delivered to their home. This way, thanks to our technology and omnichannel support, service, assortment, prices and delivery are the same as when buying online, though the human relationship that consumers still appreciate and miss when buying online is preserved.