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Fornarina plots retail assault across the UK

Italian young fashion brand Fornarina plans to double its turnover in the next three years with an aggressive retail expansion plan and a new store concept which will debut in the UK this year.

Fornarina, which has grown its global sales from €8 million (£6.4m) in 1994 to €184m (£146.4m) last year, has forecast its sales will almost double to reach €350m (£278.5m) by 2011.

Retail director Scott Ronaldson, who was appointed to the newly created role three months ago, told Drapers that his priority was to develop a retail strategy for each international market and integrate that strategy with franchisees.

“Fornarina’s revolution will be retail-driven,” he said. “I think we can have up to 50 UK stores.”

Fornarina has one UK store in London’s Carnaby Street, and will open a second shop in the Westfield London shopping centre in White City in October. The Westfield London store will have a new concept designed by design agency Camouflage.

Ronaldson is looking for sites averaging 1,076sq ft in both high street and shopping centre sites.

“Our Carnaby Street store is about architecture, attracting tourists and being a flagship store,” he said. “Westfield is a more commercial project because it will attract residential customers. We don’t expect to make money from it as rents are too high, but we need a commercial model to grow in the UK.”

The new concept will be rolled out to 20 stores globally from October.

Designed to create a VIP feel, the concept will have four distinct areas for different product categories, including denim and accessories, with quirky features such as cocktail glasses used as shelf supports.

Ronaldson said he had set sales targets per square metre of 15,000 (£11,937) for each store and budgeted for sell-throughs of 70%.

“With the new concept we are looking to reposition our target audience from teenagers to the 18-30 market,” said Ronaldson.
The brand has also signed actress Lindsay Lohan as the face of the brand for a year.

Fornarina has about 40 UK stockists.

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