Antonio Arcaro, CEO of the newborn company Rifle Srl
Antonio Arcaro, CEO of the newborn company Rifle Srl
 

14 Jan. 2014

Rifle restarts


Rifle will be facing a new start thanks to a new company inaugurated at the beginning of January 2014, new managers, new products, as well as a new brand awareness, marketing mix and a totally redefined business strategy.

Antonio Arcaro, CEO of the newborn company Rifle Srl, and author of the overall restructuring of the brand recently announced this news.

Super Rifle Spa, the company managing the historical Italian jeanswear brand Rifle founded in 1958, was put in liquidation at the end of 2013 with the aim to restructure its debts of an estimated €9 million, despite it registering a €30 million turnover in 2013.

The new company Rifle Srl was founded and­ continues to be owned by Sandro Fratini, Florentine entrepreneur involved in different fields among which hospitality and real estate.  The aim of the new operation is to heal debts and start a new path, while marking a change in direction for the brand for the years to come – especially considering that in 2018 Rifle will turn 60.

“We want to focus on new strategies, new brand image, product offer, marketing mix, service and credibility of the company,” explains Arcaro who has been working for long in the fashion business. In fact he worked for Ittierre until 2000, for the Fingen Group managing the Calvin Klein and Guess brands (2002-2006) and Industries between 2006 -2010.

After dismissing about 200 people who used to work for the old Super Rifle and rehiring about 170 of them for the new Rifle Srl, according to agreement with local unions, paying end of collaboration bonuses’ and severance pay, the new company is ready to restart thanks to a new management and business course. Among the new managers hired there are brand manager Massimo Iozzino, product development manager Alfredo Fiorini, export manager Sonia Spinozzi and retail manager Stefano Mirucci. “Our aim is to save costs and start bringing the company into black figures already from end 2014, while building back our brand image and credibility in order to consolidate the situation,” explains Arcaro. The company is considering presenting their totally renovated collection for the next edition of Pitti Uomo in June 2014. “We want to leave this suffering moment situation, start saving costs and develop in order to start operations in foreign markets.” In fact, after building back their credibility expanding again in Italy through multibrand and monobrand stores that would add up to the already existing 26 stores in Italy (18 outlets and 8 full price ones), they want to start expanding abroad by establishing a first showroom probably in Germany, in Düsseldorf in order to start expanding in Germany and Northern Europe. These were key markets for the brand in the 1980s and 1990s. The brand also plans to expand in Eastern Europe, another key market area. Such export activities should start by the first semester of 2015

After closing 2014 hopefully balancing their loss, registering a growth in sales and EBITDA, they might be reaching sales of about 40 million by 2018. Though they are also considering the possibility to be open to funds. In this case positive results could be registered even earlier.

Maria Cristina Pavarini

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