Social networking and Asia in Replay’s sights

‘Cool’, ‘wonderful’, ‘the bomb’: these are some of the comments left on Replay’s Facebook wall by over 22.000 fans. In truth these comments are more or less the same as those of the youngsters who try on the T-shirts with graffiti and the little feminine and slightly rock dresses of the new collection, at shops in Rome, Milan, Amsterdam or Paris. Replay, which together with Diesel is most international of the made-in-Italy, in fact, made-in-Veneto, denim brands, is increasingly looking towards the web and social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter in order to corner new market shares. Moreover, the new portal is live since last week, a platform built around the improvement of the product offer and the webstore. Contents change quickly in order to make way for the brand initiatives and innovative video technology allows access to fragments of filmed content that, in actual fact, are a direct link to the online store: in this way, the customer can pause the video and at the same time complete the purchase of a product just spotted. “The web is a key tool for a young and fast company like ours. In the new platform all our brands, each with its own personality, find a living space, as do the products linked to the numerous brand extension projects”, stresses Gaetano Sallorenzo, CEO of Fashion Box S.p.A., which also heads the brands Replay & Sons and We are Replay.

Registered in 1978 by Claudio Buziol, who three years later founded Fashion Box Industries S.p.A., Replay initially specialised in casual shirts. In 1990 Buziol, who passed away prematurely in 2005, went to Japan and visited a denim cloth factory produced using old American looms that used a procedure called ‘ring-ring’, which imparted resistance and elasticity to the fabric. Success started there and then, with the birth of the double ring denim jeans, that in just two years contributed to achieving over a million items sold. Very Italian in terms of style and tradition, one only needs to consider that Gigi Vezzola, the creative director, took his first steps in the world of fashion at the end of the 80s working with Krizia and worked for a long time in the styling office of Dolce & Gabbana. With a rather damaging 2008 behind it, closing with a turnover of 305 million Euro, having dipped from the 322 in 2007, the Fashion Box group has new plans for the future. Furthermore, we cannot rule out the arrival a new associate, perhaps a private equity fund, even though there is still nothing concrete on this front. “The company has plenty of financial reserves and maintains a high profitability. Of course, in such a difficult time for the markets, we too have to deal with a phase of reduction in revenues but the important thing is that, thanks to our situation, we can continue to provide a lot of space for research, both in terms of product and of increasing attention to the environment and development of the markets and of the retail network”, underlined Sallorenzo.

In recent months, the group, 80% of whose turnover is from exports (72% of which in Europe), has decided to hedge its bets on the Asian markets giving birth to a partnership with Sk Networks to open shops in Korea, including one flagship store and 7 corner shops, and to an agreement, in progress, for distribution in China. In that Country the company plans to grow from its 12 present shops to fifty or so sales points. “In this difficult economic climate, we are confident that Replay will have a major success in Korea, because the brand and its philosophy seem to agree with Korean consumers”, said Sallorenzo.

Foto 1: CEO Gaetano Sallorenzo
Foto 2: Replay

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