Furla buys back Australian distribution, will open five more stores
Furla is to buy back its Australian and New Zealand distribution from Luxury Retail Group (LRG) after saying it has seen significant sales growth in the two countries and that the new deal shows its “strong faith in the Australian market”.
The Italian bags and accessories specialist opened its first boutique in Westfield Sydney in December 2013, and now has 15 stores in the country, including Melbourne, Brisbane and the Gold Coast, as well as Sydney.
The company is acquiring 100% control of the distribution network, reflecting the trend for major premium and luxury names to want to control their international operations directly. This year, it plans to open five more stores in the two countries for a total of 20 locations, as well as enlarging the existing Westfield Sydney boutique.
“[The] Australian market is very important for Furla and crucial in our expansion plan,” said group CEO Alberto Camerlengo. He also praised the work LRG has done in the last three years with the split appearing to be amicable and with two LRG directors set to remain as board members of the Australian operation.
Camerlengo added that the Australian business should add up to around 5% of Furla’s total global revenues this year and that the company wants to build on that with enhanced local distribution.
LRG’s MD Nelson Mair said that the timing makes sense after the brand achieved 95% sales growth in the region during 2016 and that the “vertical integration of Furla Australia will better equip the business for the next phase of its growth.”
Furla currently has a direct presence in 100 countries with 444 stores that are split evenly between directly-owned boutiques and franchises. The brand is also available in 1,200 international multi brand stores.
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