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Call for luxury brands to rethink US distribution

Luxury brands must alter their distribution strategies in the US to sell more full-price merchandise, a panel of industry experts has warned.

Speaking at the Walpole Luxury Forum last week, Gianluca Brozzetti, chief executive of Roberto Cavalli, said the luxury Italian brand had become too reliant on wholesale and licensing strategies. “Last year was a disaster for sell-through on full-price merchandise,” he said.

“We now need to take more control of our distribution in the US by consolidating the number of directly owned stores and building our presence in department stores.”

Daniel Gestetner, chief executive of premium lingerie brand Myla, said wholesale would remain its main focus in the US while “crazy” rents persisted but that it planned to transfer Myla’s UK retail model across the Atlantic when the time was right.

“Buyers are being cautious and reducing stock levels, which means our sales have been impacted,” he explained.

“Having a retail model means we can react quicker [to trends] and have more control.”

Jimmy Choo chief executive Joshua Schulman said premium US department stores were still the luxury footwear label’s key distribution channel in the US, but added that the growth of online retail could alter the picture.

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