Bloomberg News

Benetton Says It May Introduce E-Commerce as Soon as Next Year

November 17, 2011

Nov. 16 (Bloomberg) -- Benetton Group SpA, Italy’s largest clothing company, may introduce an online offering as soon as 2012 as it seeks to shift as much as 80 percent of its communication budget to digital media within three years.

The clothier may start providing e-commerce “quite soon, like next year,” executive vice president Alessandro Benetton said today in an interview in Paris.

“The first step is to study something that is complementary in terms of communications and marketing to what we’re doing at the store level,” Benetton said. “After that, I think we can make a reflection.”

Benetton is seeking to revive growth after sales rose less than 2 percent since 2000. The Ponzano, Italy-based company hired You Nguyen from Levi Strauss & Co. in May as its chief merchandising officer and creative director and is simplifying its collections to focus on knitwear and color.

“The Internet should help us make sure that coherent statement gets through to the consumer,” Benetton said.

Benetton spoke after the unveiling of the company’s “Unhate” advertising campaign, which runs through January and portrays political and religious leaders kissing on the lips. Among figures shown locked in embraces are U.S. President Barack Obama and Chinese counterpart Hu Jintao.

--Editors: Paul Jarvis, Sara Marley.

To contact the reporter on this story: Andrew Roberts in Paris at aroberts36@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Sara Marley at smarley1@bloomberg.net


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