Oct 10, 2016
SACE backs Antress Industry to the tune of €1 million
Oct 10, 2016
Four mono-brand stores and an outlet store in Poland, all performing satisfactorily, and two shops opened in Berlin: this is the result of the €1 million loan guaranteed by Italian investment protection company SACE (belonging to the Cassa depositi e prestiti financial group) to back Antress Industry's international expansion plans. Antress Industry is located in Carpi, Italy, and manufactures women's clothing, shoes and accessories trading under labels such as Manila Grance and Sonia De Nisco. The company is evaluating other operations supported by SACE and by financial company SIMEST, including a store in Prague and further investment to advertise Manila Grace in New York.
The aim for Poland and Germany was "to support retail expansion on two different markets," explained Stefania Colantonio, Commercial Director at Antress, stating also that "the investment's impact can only be evaluated after a certain number of seasons." The results in Poland are positive however. An accelerated expansion programme began there in 2013, with plans for several openings in quick succession inside major shopping malls. Six stores to begin with, one of them later closed down and another transformed into an outlet store. The results were +10% in 2015 over 2014, with an estimate for 2016 at +20%. "These are positive figures - said Colantonio - given current trends in the fashion industry."
As for Berlin, in 2014 Antress decided to open a store in the German capital's well-known Bikini Mall, and another one two months later in the Mitte, the city's creative district. The locations and related costs were of course different, and the second store has so far performed less well.
In the light of this, Antress is thinking of involving SACE once more, to support its US projects. Colantonio added that "we are not thinking about a directly owned store in New York, but we commissioned the representative of a well-know agency to present the Manila Grace catalogue to a selection of its clientèle that fitted our target, and the response was positive." What is needed in the USA is "to advertise the label creating a positive buzz: press office activity, themed initiatives, brand ambassadors and digital marketing strategies, focusing on p.r., blogs and social media."
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