Guess strengthens its presence Europe
US denim brand Guess is pursuing its strategy, launched a few years ago, of refocusing on the European market. After opening around 100 stores in Europe in 2011, the brand plans to do the same thing again this year. The plan is to continue to sell its collections for women, men and children divided into three different segments (denim, accessories and children), whilst maintaining the right balance between the number of standalone stores and franchises.
In Italy, where Guess already has a large presence consisting of 158 points of sale, the brand is going to extend its store network by the end of spring 2012 with the acquisition of 26 stores currently operated under a licensing agreement with the Percassi group. The latter, which mainly operates as a real estate developer, had opened Guess stores in strategic locations such Rome, Milan, Turin, Padua and Veneto, but the brand preferred to regain control of those. “The acquisition of the stores represents an important step in our retail development strategy, which seeks to have a more selective distribution in order to better protect the brand’s image and positioning,” Guess stated in a press release.
As for Portugal, where Guess currently runs 5 stores across Lisbon, Porto, Cascais and Braga, the denim brand opted for a different development strategy and signed a joint venture with the Brodheim group, where Guess is the majority stakeholder, for the opening of 20 new boutiques. These two initiatives will “give us more control over our distribution in two strategically important markets, with interesting short and long-term growth potential,” explained CEO and creative director Paul Marciano.
In France, where the brand is already sold in 55 stores (13 standalone), next week will see the launch of a new point of sale in Paris at Gare Saint-Lazare, while next month will see the opening of a new Guess store at the Lyon Confluence shopping centre. Guess is currently strengthening its presence in France mainly through partnerships. This way, from 6 to 10 new Guess boutiques will be opening their doors in France from now until the end of the year.
At the end of 2011, as Guess celebrated its 30th anniversary since it was founded by the Marciano brothers in 1981, its CEO Paul Marciano had announced his plans to increase the number of Guess stores in the world from 1,400 to 2,250 in the space of 5 years. Three quarters of the stores will open in Europe and the Middle East, while the remaining will launch in Asia.
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