Furla looks west for expansion opportunities

FURLA_Australia_Pacific_Fair_Flagship_2Luxury accessories brand Furla is now looking west for Australian expansion opportunities after recording double-digit comparable stores sales growth from its fast-growing local operations.

Furla’s Australian sales increased by almost 60 per cent in 2017, while comparable store sales growth was in the double-digits.

The result follows a 64 per cent increase in revenue achieved in the first-half of the year, bringing revenue from Asia Pacific to 24 per cent of global sales.

Speaking to Inside Retail, Furla’s global chief executive Alberto Camerlengo said Australia is one of the Italian-based company’s fastest growing international markets and will be the target of additional investment in coming years.

“Australia is a big part of our success worldwide,” he said. “We still see great opportunities for new openings.”

Furla, which purchased back the distribution rights to its brand from Luxury Retail Group (LRG) last year, said earlier this year that it was looking to double its store presence Down Under from its 15 initial locations on the east coast.

The brand is now trading across 18 stores in Australia in Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane and the Gold Coast, but Camerlengo said an expansion into Perth is on the horizon.

“We’re not really present in the west side of Australia, we’re looking into it,” he said.

“We’re looking at every opportunity on the market, it’s a matter of finding the right location where landlords are willing to give us the right space, with the right traffic in the right mall.”

Furla has been canvassing store deals with Australia’s mall-owners for spots in the country’s top 20 malls, where it believes it would be well positioned to continue to grow under its new local management team, headed new general manager Hamish Davidson.

Recently opened stores include Melbourne Airport and Westfield Chermside in Brisbane.

LRG leaders Nelson Mair and Theo Poulakis are still playing a role in Furla’s local expansion in an advisory capacity.

Globally Furla’s 2017 turnover increased by 20 per cent to €499 million (AUD$786 million), while global earnings increased by 34.1 per cent. Global comparable sales increased in the “high single-digits”.

Sales in Japan increased by 15.4 per cent, while sales in its largest region, EMEA, were up 12.9 per cent and now represent 46 per cent of global sales.

US sales increased by 9.6 per cent, now representing 7 per cent of Furla’s total business.

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