Moncler’s Remo Ruffini talks strategy
Remo Ruffini did something incredible with Moncler. He bought a French company known for its high-quality outerwear, and transformed it into a genuine luxury fashion brand. Two years ago, he did it again, refreshing the brand and starting its hugely successful “Genius” project: “I thought ‘the world is changing. I need to find a way to attract new energy, new people and new generations.’ And from there the idea started.” In a recent interview with The Financial Times, Mr. Ruffini offered some insights into the brand and its strategy.
Moncler’s share price has risen by 25% so far this year
Source: Yahoo Finance
The change that Ruffini is talking about is largely down to millennials and younger consumers and the way in which they consume fashion and media: “We needed to speak to the consumer the way the consumer is demanding. The consumer wants you to talk to them every day, through new products, through social media. So that is the project we brought to life.” Genius certainly delivered: since launching it, Moncler’s sales have increased by 22%, and its share price by 74%.
Genius involves eight designers (all highly lauded industry veterans, like Valentino’s Pierpaolo Picciolo, and Hiroshi Fujiwara) who create collections that are rolled out to the public much faster, and by more modern means, than the traditional fashion industry allows for. That meant changing up Moncler’s business model, and one of the biggest hurdles was practical: “To get a supply chain that is used to doing things on a six-monthly basis to deliver to every shop in 60 countries at the same time on the same day every month is an enormous cultural change.”
Looking to the future, Ruffini says that the only challenges on the horizon are China and Big Tech. China, because it will soon be so completely the driver of the luxury sector that staying on its radar will be determinative of future success. And Big Tech because “If Amazon enters the world of luxury it is clear they will do what they have done with all other sectors. They are far too strong for us small players to compete with.”
None of that, however, is a concern for Moncler’s short term. In closing, Ruffini discussed speculative M&A deals, saying he had no plans to buy any other companies, and no one has expressed a plan to buy Moncler: “We are in a good moment. I would like to see what happens in the next three, four years. It would seem to me a shame to be selling now. And anyway, I am not ready to retire.”
Dominion holds Moncler in its Global Trends Luxury Fund.
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