Stone Island has closed its order season for 2014 (both s/s 2014 and f/w 2014/2015) with a registered growth of 12%. This increase will most likely reflect in the company’s overall sales for 2014. The Italian company had registered around €70 million turnover in 2013, 12% more of what they achieved in 2012, and likewise registered an EBITDA of about €9.5 million, increased by 50% compared to 2012.

Their orders have registered a growth in all markets – numbers differed from country to country. The market which registered the highest growth is the UK (+28%), followed by Germany and Austria (+19.4%), Italy registered a +5% growth, while Russia grew below-average (+3%), presumably because of the ruble depreciation. In addition, the brand’s online store grew by +18.4%.

“The growth we are registering in the UK is due to the fact that we managed to recall the attention of the younger generations and not only of the adult aficionados,” comments Carlo Rivetti, president, SPW Company. “We thought that the British market was ‘saturated’, while there is still potential for growth. Similarly we want to increase our presence in Germany where the youngest haven’t started appreciating our products as much.”
And continues: “For this we want to potentiate our presence in Germany by opening other flagship stores.” At present, Stone Island operate two stores in this area – one in Sylt opened in 2012, mostly working during the summer season, and one in Munich opened in September 2013. “We are now looking for new locations, for instance, in Hamburg and Frankfurt,” he continues. “The results we have achieved in Germany until now are very satisfying, since we have only been present in this market since 2010, and from that moment on we have registered a doubling in sales.”

At present the German and Austrian markets represent the third most important market for the company (12%). First is Italy (37%) and second the UK (14%), while the Netherlands and Belgium account for 8.4% of the company’s revenues, building its fourth most important market.

Another macro-area of planned expansion is the US. “We are only sold in 40 stores there. It is nothing considering such as huge market. Though, we have to find new approaches for growing. Our best case would be department stores. We would feel more comfortable if they sold us together with designer brands – as it is successfully happening in Japanese department stores. On the contrary they would like to sell us near to other US sportswear brands, which are very different from our own DNA. For this we shall find a different strategy.”

Part of the growth strategy is to involve customers directly, for instance, though their website and social media. Since July 2013, they are also offering users a German version of their website and e-commerce page that adds up to the already existing versions in Italian, British English, US English and Japanese. “Our Italian consumers are strongly involved with the brand and constantly post comments to our videos, news and initiatives,” continues Rivetti. “Among them there is an aficionado who asked to visit the company for his birthday and I will personally lead him through our offices. This is also what we want to achieve in Germany, a market that is creating aweness for our products, an interest in how they are made and developed and how new innovations are implemented. Considering we have just developed our thermo-sensitive Ice Jacket in 100% wool variant, we could only achieve that result through trials d tests. Telling that kind of stories is strongly involving consumers and also German customers will appreciate and love the way we work.”