Italian label Liu Jo halts stock market listing but presses on with European expansion
today Jan 21, 2019
Liu Jo continues to expand, though for the time being it has put its planned stock market listing on hold. The Italian womenswear label was created in 1995, and is currently present in about 50 countries, with a network of 480 monobrand stores and 5,300 multibrand retailers. Despite the stock market listing delay, Liu Jo keeps opening new stores, especially in Europe.
For the Autumn/Winter 2019-20, Liu Jo is launching its first environmentally friendly denim line. On the retail side, in the summer of 2018 it opened a first monobrand store in Austria. The store is located in the centre of Vienna, and its inauguration was followed a few weeks ago by another opening in Austria, in Innsbruck. Liu Jo has also opened a first monobrand store in the Serbian capital, Belgrade, and is stepping on the gas in Russia too.
Liu Jo already operates 15 stores and seven retail corners through a local partner in the country, and next March it will open a first directly owned store, in St Petersburg.
“Russia is a key market for us, one where we have been growing significantly and constantly in the last few years,” said Marco Marchi, co-founder and president of Liu Jo, adding that “[Russia] is a region with distinct specificities, yet one where the response to Liu Jo’s collections has always been positive, and one in which we strongly believe.”
France, Liu Jo’s main export market, also featured new openings in the course of 2018: in Dijon in March and in Bastia, Corsica, during the summer, bringing Liu Jo’s total number of stores in the country to 28, plus 13 retail corners.
“In spring 2019, we are planning two new openings [in France], Perpignan and La Réunion,” said Marchi. This year, the label is also aiming to open stores “in several new markets - like Switzerland - which are currently generating a certain amount of interest.”
On the corporate finance side, the Carpi-based company announced at the end of 2017 that it was planning to apply for a listing on the Milan stock exchange within two years. A project which has not yet been realised, as Marchi commented: “The listing process has been suspended for the time being, due to the stock market’s high degree of volatility. For Liu Jo, a stock market flotation is an opportunity and not an obligation, so we prefer to wait for the macro-economic situation to be more settled.”
In the 2017 financial year, Liu Jo generated €328 million in sales (+8%), of which 40% were produced outside Italy.
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