Argentina’s Rapsodia eyes US launch
Rapsodia, an Argentine womenswear brand with a strong following in its home market, has announced plans to launch in the USA by 2020. This is according to brand director Clara Forno, who said in an exclusive interview with FashionNetwork.com that the brand is also looking to expand into Ecuador and Peru.
“We want to launch in the United States next year. We are currently preparing a business plan. We don’t know exactly where yet, but it will be through our own stores,” she explained.
Speaking about the economic crisis facing Argentina and its impact on business, Forno added: “The country is going through a complex situation, but it is more of a financial issue rather than a commercial one. Our sales have not declined but we are trying to see how we can control costs and cut our spending without affecting sales,” she said.
By 2019, the company’s goal is to make over $100 million in sales and to expand its operations in Argentina by 50%. E-commerce is driving the momentum, showing a strong increase in recent times.
“Since we launched the online store we have been working very hard on strengthening our omnichannel capabilities. We have to think beyond our premises, we have to have a 360-degree approach. Everything becomes more demanding and competitive, but that’s good because things are more transparent and dynamic,” she continued.
With this in mind, a key part of Rapsodia’s marketing strategy is ensuring a strong connection with customers via social media. The brand has 1 million followers on Facebook, and a further 900,000 on Instagram.
“In recent years we have introduced a dedicated e-commerce team and created new roles such as community manager. Now we have a marketing team that can fully focus on our digital strategy,” Forno said.
The transformation has been part of a process led by the brand since receiving a “significant” growth capital investment from L Catterton, the private equity arm of luxury goods giant LVMH, in 2017. “They have transformed our way of working. They brought many processes and we have re-formulated the way we do things. The company has become much more efficient. The merger was very positive, but we are experiencing difficult times in Argentina, making it harder to improve our results.”
Currently, Rapsodia has 54 stores in Argentina and stores in Chile, Uruguay, Paraguay, Colombia and Mexico.
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