Luxury hotel retail in Italy is booming

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MILAN – Meet them at the beach. Perhaps this is the mantra that luxury and fashion brands are repeating this summer.

Certainly, resort retailing is experiencing a golden moment in Italy, one of the most attractive countries for international tourists, especially during the summer.

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Luxury hotel chains are stepping up their activities in Italy, notably the travel group Belmond, controlled by the French conglomerate LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton and which, in May, after a complete renovation, reopened the famous Splendido Mare overlooking the port picturesque Portofino. At the same time, fashion brands are fighting for the best retail locations in the most attractive vacation destinations on the peninsula.

This year, in fact, thanks to the acceleration of the vaccination campaign around the world, international tourists are returning to Italy. This is an encouraging sign for the country where, before the pandemic, according to research by Bain & Co., 60% of luxury purchases in the country were made by foreign tourists. In particular, as research pointed out, before the COVID-19 crisis of 2020, the wealthiest segment of international visitors vacationing in Italy spent around € 15 billion per year on visits, experiences and purchases.

“After the closures people are in the mood to travel, shop and have fun,” said enthusiastically Giancarlo Sandretto, CEO of Sant’Andrea srl, a company that acquires luxury stores in cities and key resorts in Italy and Europe. and rents them out to fashion and lifestyle brands.

Sant’Andrea srl ​​has 10 commercial spaces in Forte dei Marmi and three locations in Capri, among others. “Last summer there were four shops closed on Via Camerelle de Capri, which has never happened before on the island. However, this summer the situation is reversed and there is a waiting list of brands that want to rent space on the island, ”said Sandretto.

To date, the occupancy rate of hotels, guesthouses and guesthouses is over 90% for the month of July, with room rates for one night exceeding 1,000 euros.

“American tourists are finally back in Capri,” said Sandretto, emphasizing how the Mediterranean island is one of the favorite vacation destinations for international visitors. According to the aforementioned research conducted by Bain, the Amalfi Coast and Capri are the world’s fourth most preferred vacation spots for spending non-European tourists.

In Capri, which is already home to the boutiques of the big luxury brands, a host of additions populate the shopping streets of the island: the Milanese Luisa Beccaria has settled on the emblematic Piazzetta, while Genny and Golden Goose have opted for for the prestigious Via Camerelle. The luxury sneakers and streetwear brand, which was acquired last year by private equity firm Permira for 1.3 billion euros, has inaugurated a boutique that pays homage to the tradition of the place with its walls Pompeian reds. The store – home to a craftsman who provides personalization services to personalize sneakers and bags with a range of embellishments from Swarovski crystals to handwritten labels – also offers the brand’s first resort capsule collection. It’s also on sale at seven other Golden Goose stores around the world, including Puerto Banús on the Costa del Sol, Cannes, Saint-Tropez, Hawaii, the Hamptons and Miami. Designed to offer a cool summer wardrobe, the capsule consists of styles of beachwear for men and women, linen dresses, shirts and pants, as well as accessories, ranging from canvas bags to hats. Straw.

Despite the proliferation of established brand name stores, Capri maintains a local authenticity with a range of artisan shops selling the island’s iconic sandals, made famous around the world by fashion queens such as Jackie Kennedy Onassis and Marella Agnelli, and clothing. For example, Blanche Capri Couture opened a boutique in the center of Via Fuorlovado, offering dresses and separate pieces created on the island from fabrics for customers to choose from.

Exclusivity and uniqueness are the main values ​​at the heart of The Pink Closet, the boutique opened in Ravello by Mariella Avino, owner and general manager of the luxury resort Palazzo Avino in Ravello, one of the jewels of the Amalfi Coast.

Rather than offering products from established luxury brands, Avino fills its pink wunderkammer, located opposite the hotel’s main entrance and occupying a quaint space that previously housed an art gallery, with a range of clothing. and accessories from international niche brands. For this summer, Avino also launched Creative Lab, a program focused on the development of special capsules and dedicated products created by emerging brands such as Giannico, Caterina Gatta, Vernisse, Leontine Vintage, Gala Rotelli, Bluetiful and House of Mua Mua , among others. .

“People who shop on vacation aren’t looking for ordinary things. They want something special, unique, which can bring them immediate joy and happiness, but also which, once at home, reminds them of their holidays and their experiences abroad, ”said Avino, who launched at the end of June l digital extension of The Pink Closet. “Thanks to e-commerce, our loyal customers, but also new ones, can enjoy part of the Palazzo Avino experience at home.”

While Russian tourists have yet to make a real comeback due to travel restrictions imposed by their own country, the luxury Tuscan resort Forte dei Marmi is in full bloom. “Retail real estate prices are increasing and demand for locations is higher than ever,” said Sandretto.

The popular beach destination this season welcomes many spendthrift tourists from Northern Europe, but also many affluent Italian families who still fear making international trips, said Sandretto. Among the luxury brands that have invested in Forte dei Marmi are Louis Vuitton; Salvatore Ferragamo; Zimmermann; Strong Strong; Manebì, which also opened boutiques in Italian seaside destinations Pietrasanta and Alassio, and Ermenegildo Zegna. To celebrate the boutique’s opening, the men’s clothing powerhouse has created a capsule of swim shorts and beach towels decorated with prints inspired by Forte dei Marmi’s famous beach huts.

Among the Italian resort destinations that will benefit from the arrival of mega yachts sailing the Mediterranean Sea this summer is Porto Cervo, the luxury village on the northeast coast of Sardinia, according to Sandretto.

“The traditional route of billionaire mega yachts goes from Puerto Banús to Ibiza, then touches Porto Cervo and ends in Mykonos,” said Sandretto.

In Porto Cervo, in the commercial development of the Promenade du Port, luxury multibrand retailer Modes has opened its largest boutique in Italy, a 3,391 square foot space over three floors designed by Berlin-based architecture studio Gonzalez Hasse AAS , who will also be in charge of the design of the Modes flagship inaugurated in Paris in September.

“Our DNA runs deep in resort retail,” said Aldo Carpinteri, Founder and CEO of Modes, which operates multi-brand stores and concessions in some of the most prestigious vacation destinations including St. Moritz, Forte dei Marmi, Portofino and the luxury Sardinian resort Forte Village. “I think the multi-brand concept meets the needs of those who shop on vacation perfectly, since it can offer them special, exclusive, more flamboyant and extravagant things than the assortment you can offer for city life.

See also:

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