Retailer of the Week
Alba Barabino, owner, Ghiglino 1893/Loft 1893, Italy
22 May. 2013
Alba Barabino, owner, Ghiglino 1893/Loft 1893, Genua, ItalyIt all started in 1893 selling British fabrics. Ghiglino has always focused on high-quality products as well as the newest trends from Paris, New York, London and Los Angeles. Managing two stores, a boutique that has been family run for four generations and a new store that opened last year, Alba Barabino knows the importance of offering well-known brands as well as acting on new trends and suggestions. Interview by Maria Cristina Pavarini
What are the current bestsellers and why?
In our stores we sell a wide variety of both Italian and international brands even if our own private label is our bestseller. It offers knitwear, shirts, ties and more. This brand is the result of the consolidation of 120 years of experience learnt in this sector constantly reinterpreted and now also taken care of by Anna and Elena, the owners' daughters who studied and obtained their degree at Istituto Marangoni in Milan.
Do people buy according to their favourite brand, style, or impulse?
Many buy according to brand. For instance, Moncler and similar renowned names are among their favourites. Others are rather guided by the ideas we show in our shop windows, which present many ideas in terms of trends and products.
Where do you order from? How do you inform yourself about trends? How do you communicate with your customers?
Travelling is important, especially in fashion capitals such as Paris, New York, London and many others. In these cities even the smallest shops offer ideas and inspiration that can be influential and relevant for our work. Social networks such as Facebook and Twitter play a fundamental role for us in order to interact and speak with the final customer.
How do you choose products you offer your regular customers?
We often see catwalk shows which represent a significant source of inspiration for scouting new trends. Additional indications can be found from searching through the web.
What are the most important trends, in general?
For men we tend to mix dandy accessories in order to make our customers appear more researched. For women flowers and colours are what we are offering most right now. Although the main trend now - for both men and women - are colours. This is strange for the inhabitants of a city such as Genoa who generally prefer to wear classic hues.
Sure. Every season we update our offer with new brands such as belts by the upcoming designer Adriano Meneghetti and glasses by Han Kjobenhavn, who we discovered inside a store in New York.
How does your store differ from other stores?
Presently most widespread are mono-brand stores or shops offering only “made in China” products. In both cases none of them has a true soul. On the contrary our stores have a character and it's a pleasure for us meeting customers who visit us just for having a look to see all the new products we add every month to our selection.
What do you like about your customers?
We feel rewarded when clients appreciate us for our courtesy and for the novelties we offer them. This, naturally, pushes us to always better ourselves. Since we still believe in stores with an "old-style taste", our true challenge is to keep our clients' trust and, at the same time, increase the attention from new potential ones.
How important is the interior, the atmosphere and the whole package?
Entering our stores makes you feel as if you were in a warm and welcoming house since we have purposely maintained our image as a historical store - especially in our older boutique. In general being accompanied and advised by our long-time expert staff is part of the atmosphere our customers perceive and appreciate.
Details on Ghiglino group
The Ghiglino group stores offer a mix of men's and women's brands such as Moncler, Incotex, Jacob Cohen, Church’s, Cruciani, Woolrich, Hartford, Humanoid, Jeffrey Campbell, K-Way, Repetto, Tara Jarmon and more.
Owners Alba and Paola Barabino, the fourth generation of this family run business, together with their sons Federico, Anna and Elena keep this business alive with their knowledge and expertise, while constantly adding new products and brands - both Italian and international.
The store's contact
Via xx settembre 26-28 r.
Tel. +39 010580473
Fax +39 010 594763
Via Fiasella 19 a.
Tel. +39 010543303
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