(Filed Under wholesale Lingerie News). According to Bloomberg Television, the prominent Italian lingerie and sock maker Sandro Veronesi “is planning to challenge Victoria’s Secret on its home turf by opening his first U.S. stores,” timing them “in the next couple of years.”
In the opening paragraph of its story entitled, “Italy’s Billionaire Lingerie King Takes Aim at Victoria’s Secret,” bloomberg.com declared Veronesi’s “Calzedonia Group sold 1.8 billion euros ($2.5 billion) worth of intimate apparel and clothing last year,” perhaps to indicate his qualifications for success in the U.S. endeavor. It added that the firm utilizes its 3,800 stores to sell “Intimissimi lingerie, Calzedonia socks and Falconeri knitwear,” mainly in Europe.
But Bloomberg did not mention those two other European experts at retailing lingerie, that have done well elsewhere but not in the U.S. Van de Velde, which purchased the Intimacy chain several years ago with plans for expansion, was recently forced to cut the number of stores and change their name to Rigby & Peller in the face of mounting losses. And Triumph, which operates over 2000 stores in other parts of the world, but stalled in its efforts to expand here after opening just two shops on Long Island in 2013.
Nor did Bloomberg cite those American lingerie retailers, such as Frederick’s (which just closed all its stores), Gilly Hicks (which recently closed all its lingerie stores) and aerie (which is on track to have closed about half its stores by the end of 2015), that have found this country a difficult place to keep doors open.
It has become a very popular cliché for lingerie companies—and those writing about them—to imply that the next Victoria’s Secret is on the way. But the comparisons are most often laughable. Parent company L Brands reported sales of $11.4 billion last year. It currently operates 984 Victoria’s Secret stores in the U.S. as well as 126 Pink stores.
Billionaire Veronesi said in the Bloomberg interview that his first store might be in New York, with future expansion in other major cities. “There is a dominant competitor in the United States, but that is maybe a reason why also women would like to have an alternative.”
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