Yes, Benetton is still around and if you are in my age-group you have a soft-spot for the label that meant everything in our teenage years. In fact, I am proud to admit one of my first retail jobs was with Benetton. I spent two summers working at the Benetton Outlet in Niagara Falls, NY. The outlet has since left town, but somewhere buried in a box are a few of my old cast-offs. What is sad is that unlike the Gap, but like Esprit, Benetton is a brand I have not worn in ions. I have long outgrown it.
According to WWD, four months after it revealed plans to go private, Benetton Group will delist from the Italian Stock Exchange as of May 31. The Italian apparel manufacturer and retailer cited increased costs of raw materials, such as cotton and wool, and slow economies in the group’s main markets, such as southern Europe, have hurt its bottom line. In the three-month period ended March 31, the group’s net profit dropped 48% and revenues fell 5.5%.
Biagio Chiarolanza, Benetton’s CEO for operations, foreign business units and finance, said this “unsatisfactory result” was in line with expectations. “We know that the repositioning will not be easy, and the first quarter results confirm that. Nonetheless, the process is under way and will continue with determination, even though, with the economic crisis affecting the principal markets for our products, a rapid recovery cannot be expected,” remarked Chiarolanza.
Luciano Benetton, cofounder and chairman of Benetton, said last month that after 47 years, he was passing the baton to his son Alessandro, who was previously executive vice chairman. This has not helped the situation. Benetton said it will continue to strive to optimize costs efficiently. We wish them luck.
– Lauren Dimet Waters