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Italian fashion giant Gruppo Coin eyes UK

Italian fashion retailer Gruppo Coin is scouting the UK for potential locations for its Coin department store and OVS fast-fashion chains.

Gruppo Coin is the clothing market leader in Italy with a 4.5% market share. Coin is the largest department store chain in Italy with 81 stores in the domestic market and a handful of stores overseas. It sells brands including Desigual, Comptoir des Cotonniers, DKNY, Esprit, Firetrap, G-Star, Miss Sixty, Calvin Klein, Diesel and Hugo Boss alongside its own label.

OVS has sales of €804m (£705.9m). It has a network of more than 360 shops in Italy and overseas, and manufactures some of its own collections. Jeans retail at €13.90 (£12.20).

Retailers including Primark, New Look and House of Fraser will watch Gruppo Coin’s UK debut with interest. OVS is well placed to cash in on the flight to value in the UK but Coin faces a competitive UK department store market.

A spokesman for Gruppo Coin said the group was looking for possible UK locations but added: “So far, it hasn’t found anything
that may fit with Coin or OVS formats yet.”

In the full year to January 31, net sales at the group – which is listed on the Milan Stock Exchange and  majority owned by private equity firm PAI Partners, which also has a controlling stake in Spanish fashion company Cortefiel – were €1.15bn (£1bn), a 2.3% drop compared with the same period last year. EBITDA fell 7.5% to €133.7m (£117.3m) over the year.

In June, Gruppo Coin chief executive Stefano Beraldo said the group was forging ahead with 20 store openings outside of Italy this year, largely via joint ventures.

Edward Whitefield, chairman of consultancy MHE Retail, said: “OVS is one of the best value fashion  retailers in Europe. However, the UK is one of the most professional and most competitive markets in Europe and there are easier fruits to pick on lower-hanging branches in Western Europe.”

Readers' comments (2)

  • OVS is very successful in Italy and is up there with Primark in terms of standing, although Primark price points are keener and OVS is more fashion forward.
    But if it is seriously looking at expansion, the UK is a saturated market and the likes of New Look and Peacocks are upping their game. So I am not sure that they will be too worried to hear that OVS is scouting the UK market.
    And as for having another department store coming to the UK, do we not have enough of them who are well known enough by shoppers already? Plus, where will they find the space? Even if landlords are more prepared to negotiate in this climate, any prime locations that become available will be snapped up by the likes of John Lewis or Debenhams.

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  • OVS would fit within this already saturated UK market, and think they would be successful. How many company's out there are really doing the same job but doing it well?Surely they have a good strategy.
    They would offer a fresh look onto the market and create a buzz. Im sure they would target the key catchment areas( Manchester, Liverpool, etc).So really cant see why the competition would want to open more stores within these areas?.

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