Retailer of the Week
11 Jan. 2011
ROBERTO LUNGHI AND CLAUDIO BETTI, SPK, ALASSIOYoung and streetwear-though, appealing and smart, are all a must for SPK, sportswear-chic specialist based in Alassio, prestigious seaside location on Italy’s Ligurian Coast. Co-owners Roberto Lunghi and Claudio Betti like to get their customers’ attention by organizing special partnerships and events with upcoming new brands and capsule collections. By Maria Cristina Pavarini
“Our best-selling brands are - above all - Moncler and DSquared. Also selling well are Altea, D&G, Dondup, Golden Goose and Hydrogen. This store belongs to a wider group of fashion stores, the Spinnaker Group, all based in Alassio, strongly focused on men and women designer and upper sportswear brands. The SPK store is the youngest and most sportswear-oriented boutique of the group aimed at a male clientele, young or young at heart, though ready for spending money on their wardrobe. In the past, the store also offered womens’ brands (about 30% of our offer), though, since this market niche is offering most interesting products - especially for men - we decided to give our boutique a much cleaner direction about a year ago and the move has proved to be successful.
At present, jeanswear is selling well and, practically, only slim fits. A leg width that goes beyond 18cm is not selling today in our store. Washes are not extreme. On the contrary, clean treatments are mostly looked for. No paint streaks are required anymore, though small rippings are still requested. DSquared’s bestselling style is the Kenny Twisted, a sort of ergonomic jean model with a skinny fit.
Our approach to sportswear is mostly classic: customers tend to mix jeans with classic men’s shoes or with sneakers such as, for instance, Red Wing and Philippe Model, two bestselling sneaker brands. Among tops, our best-selling items include checked shirts, denim shirts. Also very popular are V-necked t-shirts, polo shirts and cashmere tops. Most succesful colors are beige tones, greys and green hues, a color that we sell only in this store and not in the other stores of the group.
Also successful in recent weeks were Hydrogen accessories and sweatshirts. Their sneakers and socks decored with small skull motives were very well appreciated as well as the brand’s iPhone and iPad sleeves. Also bestselling were sequinned Hydrogen sweatshirts and t-shirts showing stylized world’s flag motives. A t-shirt’s price was €70 and a sweatshirt was around €130 – affordable prices still get our customers’ attention.
The present market situation is not an easy one (editor’s note: especially considering that Alassio is a seaside location whose stronger business seasons are spring and, especially, summer). Our store is open all year long and in order to face the market situation, not only we change shop windows and store merchandise layout every week, but we also organize special events and art exhibitions in order to get peoples’ attention to our store and invite them to enter, look around and - hopefully - buy. For this, we also often sign agreements with companies that want to launch capsule collections or single product initiatives. We often dedicate single shop windows to these special launches. We recently organized an exhibition by a young group of Italian artists, Vibrazioni Art Design, who presented their special decorated oil tins, chairs and other industrial decor objects – all supported by a a series of special videos on the making of their art pieces, also shot by the artist group – inside our store.
In February, we will launch a special apparel capsule collection by HTC (Hollywood Trading Company), the popular brand of handcrafted studded belts. Their new s/s 2011 collection will offer unique items such as, for instance, vintage style t-shirts.”
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