Aug 31, 2010
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Hugo Boss adopts cheap-brand model to follow fashion

Aug 31, 2010

FRANKFURT, Aug 31, 2010 AFP © - The pricey German fashion group Hugo Boss will use a strategy pioneered by lower-cost brands to get new collections out faster, chief executive Claus-Dietrich Lahrs said in an interview on Tuesday.

Hugo Boss
Hugo Boss A/W collection 2010

"Shortening the times from collection development to production and delivery to the customer is crucial for our future success," Lahrs told the Finance Times.

Boss sought the "speed and reactivity" of popular European retail chains like Zara and H&M, but would maintain its position as a premium brand, he added.

The German group also wants to increase the number of its stores from about 450 this to to 700 by 2015, with a strong focus on China.

The German fashion company, which is majority owned by the Britain-based private equity group Permira, wants to lift sales from 1.6 billion euros (two billion dollars) in 2009 to 2.5 billion euros by 2015.

Just under half the store openings are set for China, where Boss set up a joint venture in July and which will be one of its largest markets in five years.

Boss also plans to increase the proportion of sales from its own retail stores to around half from one-third at present, and Lahrs said it would cut complexity and deliver a more "focused" collection.

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