New strategy at GUCCI
Gucci’s new chief executive officer, Patrizio di Marco, said he’s fighting the recession by cutting production, making fewer styles to reduce costs, and bulking up the luxury label’s mid-priced range. Di Marco said he’s refreshing goods made with the 88-year- old brand’s interlocking-G logo, adding crocodile and leather trim to printed-fabric purses priced between 800 euros and 1,900 euros. Designer Frida Giannini “knows how to balance the fashion elements with Gucci’s heritage,” di Marco said at the company’s production headquarters near Florence. In this market, buyers “want products with substance and good prices. We don’t need 75 variations on the same handbag. Two or three are enough.”
Giannini’s recent use of Gucci heritage includes a revival of the Jackie bag, named for Jacqueline Onassis Kennedy, and purses with a diamond motif that dates back to the 1940s.
Di Marco said he’s studying how to build new stores less expensively, speeding their turn to profitability. Gucci has opened six new stores on three continents since the end of last year for a total of 264, and previously said it will continue to open others this year, especially in Asia. The company is scheduled to open a flagship shop in Shanghai next week, the 28th Gucci store in the country since entering China in 1997. Expansion in other parts of the world such as Eastern Europe has been halted with an indefinite timing estimate. These include Bucharest, Sofia and Warsaw.