In one of the latest moves in the Italian company’s overhaul, Bruno Magli has poached Martino Scabbia Guerrini from Fay, the apparel brand owned by Tod’s. Guerrini, who was general manager at Fay, has been recruited as CEO and managing director of Bruno Magli Spa, the company’s holding company, starting from the end of August. He takes over some of the functions previously held by Luca Ramella, who remains in the top post as executive chairman of the company, in which the Opera investment fund acquired a controlling interest of 77 percent three years ago.
One of Guerrini’s main tasks will be to help make Bruno Magli act faster and more reactively following a series of recent structural changes in Italy and in the USA. In Italy the company has closed its design office in Florence and concentrated product development and sourcing in its headquarters in Bologna, hiring a new designer for its women’s line, Alessandro Papini. The Milan office now concentrates exclusively on marketing and sales. Several stores have been closed.
As previously reported, last April the company’s US subsidiary filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in a move that was chiefly intended to get rid of six US stores with expensive leases that could not be cancelled or renegotiated, including the Bruno Magli flagship on New York’s Madison Avenue. The retail cutbacks, which have left Bruno Magli with just one US store in Texas, will enable the US subsidiary, renamed as Bruno Magli North America, to concentrate more strongly on its wholesale business. While department stores like Neiman Marcus, Nordstrom and Saks Fifth Avenue currently account for about 70 percent of Bruno Magli’s US sales, the company wants to develop further its base of independent retailers in the country.
Sales in the company’s own stores made up about 30 percent of US sales in men’s shoes, and less than 20 percent for women’s products. Bruno Magli indicates that its wholesale sales in the USA rose by more than 25 percent last year, but the company’s results were drained by the retail troubles. The Chapter 11 procedure, which should be closed over the coming weeks, has led to about 30 layoffs at the former Bruno Magli stores.