Carlo Pazolini is going after a bigger piece of the U.S. market.
The Russia-based company, which debuted its first store here in fall ’11, will offer wholesale for spring ’14. The addition is a new initiative for the privately owned company, which operates 170 stores in countries including Russia, Ukraine, Italy and England.
“[U.S.] business has been good, and we see strong growth,” said Sheryl Bloom, CEO of Carlo Pazolini USA, noting high double-digit sales gains for fall ’12 over fall ’11.
“[Wholesale] is very appropriate for the U.S. market,” she added. “It’s a unique opportunity to expand our presence.”
Currently, Carlo Pazolini operates 10 stores in the U.S. with another four to five slated to open this year.
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According to Bloom, the men’s and women’s made-in-Italy collections will be targeted to better department stores and online retailers. Because the brand offers a wide range of merchandise, she noted stores will have the opportunity to carry exclusive product.
At the moment, the women’s category accounts for 65 percent of the business, with men’s making up the remainder. “We had a nice response to men’s,” said Bloom. “There’s not a lot of competition in [the category for] European-inspired product.”
The brand also is connecting to consumers through marketing efforts that include outdoor campaigns on billboards and New York buses. In addition, the company advertises in fashion publications.
While Carlo Pazolini has been on the fast track since it hit the U.S., Bloom emphasized that the company is moving ahead with caution. “We’re taking things slowly and carefully,” she noted. “We have very realistic expectations.”