A new challenge for Andrea Gentilini, who enters Luxury Living Group in the role of CEO (officially appointed last week), with the aim of regenerating the group after its acquisition by Lifestyle Design.
While the goal is clear, so are the short and medium-term strategies for its achievement. Which should come as no surprise, considering the wide range of expertise of the CEO in the fields of business development, turnarounds and changes of strategic focus: he has held managerial positions at Bialetti, Henry Schein, Technogym and Visionnaire.
Greater internationalization (first of all in emerging markets), structured advances into the digital realm and the development of new licenses are the central themes.
“Luxury Living Group is a company that will undoubtedly be able to grow, in a group fully focused on the world of design, such as Lifestyle Design. The first objective is to guarantee economic and financial equilibrium, to support ongoing investments. We also have to boost our levels of service and quality, which the luxury sector demands and on which it is based.”
The perspective thus covers international markets, where the company will increase its reach, adding openings in Paris – slated for mid-March 2021 – and London, alongside the existing stores in Milan and Italy, and the single-brand stores in Miami, Los Angeles and New York. These openings will be followed by other destinations, still during the course of the coming year. Direct showrooms for Luxury Living Group, with a selection that brands that differs, depending on the location.
“China is our first market, but we are very strong in America as well, with three locations and a consolidated presence with an affiliate; therefore we are working on Asia Pacific and other geographical zones, optimizing our organization and operations; this also extends to reopening to France, and a focus on England. We are watching the new emerging markets, and those of the Middle East, which will bring opportunities, as well as the super-emerging markets.”
“In 2020 we have achieved results equal to those of 2019 – Gentilini emphasizes – precisely thanks to the continuing strength in these important markets: China, above all, America and the old continent of Europe; the latter, in fact, for the lifestyle interpreted by our model, is of great importance. These zones contain the various hubs of international design and fashion, not just the Europeans but also the wealthiest people on a worldwide level. We are a company that works with clients who have properties on all the continents, the desire to furnish homes in Miami or Los Angeles, while also owning a penthouse in London, though they reside in Dubai or Moscow. Clients who move all over the world.“
The new purchasing habits of these international high-end consumers have prompted the company to accelerate in the area of digital channels, creating an online platform – reserved at this time to a selected list of partners, but later also available to end-users – in which to present the exclusive collections of Fendi Casa, Bentley Home and Trussardi Casa.
“We are part of Lifestyle Design, which reports to Haworth: this allows us to approach the digital realm through a shared project, having access to remarkable infrastructures and very high levels of professional expertise. The process of digitalization launched by the company covers multiple fronts of communication and commerce, from CRM to e-commerce and platforms like virtual reality to establish dialogue through various channels. The pandemic has sped up – by a few years – a path that was already inevitable, enabling us to respond to needs of communication and sales that have become timelier than ever.”
Markets, retail, digital. But also reinforcement of product strategies, in the program of the new CEO.
“We want to develop new licenses, which will be announced in the future, always connected to the world of fashion. We intend to create a wider dimension for Luxury Living Group, which also means expanding our portfolio. I believe the company has a winning business model, which is that of licensing and the design-fashion combination, certainly offering great potential for common ground in terms of lifestyle; luckily, we work with brands that are very recognizable, with a history of codes and languages that can respond to current needs in the lifestyle sector, all filtered by our ability to interpret, implement and put into action.”
What is the most intriguing challenge in this new project? “This is the first time I have worked on a licensing business, which brings me closer to the world of fashion: these relationships trigger an explosion of different opportunities and developments. We simply have to choose which ones to pursue.”