La Rinascente: a New Shopping Experience

Celebrating its first one hundred years, La Rinascente is focussing on innovation and experimentation, consolidating its business models and offering new and increasingly ‘tailor- made’ buying experiences with ‘on demand’ instant messaging services



  • On the roof of department store in Piazza del Duomo, photo by Serge Libiszewski, 1966-1967

    On the roof of department store in Piazza del Duomo, photo by Serge Libiszewski, 1966-1967

«We manage jewelry through the ‘concession’ business model, which provides a more eective way of acting in a sector with such a complex structure and product typology.»
We are not currently managing the on-line channel for any goods category. It is a strategy linked to our essence as pure retailers. We believe that the shopping experience in our department stores is unique and irreplace- able,» explains Elisabetta Giacomello, the Jewelry, Watches & Sunglasses Buying Manager for la Rinascente. But while on-line sales are not part of the plans because «the e-shopping system has absolutely no contact with the final users, therefore making it impossible to help and guide them in their purchases», an innovative, fluid and dynamic shopping experience has recently been introduced with the new ‘la Rinascente On Demand’ instant messaging service for all goods categories, including jewelry and watches, that can be accessed worldwide. Those searching for an article can contact ‘la Rinascente On Demand’, through WhatsApp for the moment, and later also through WeChat, and interact with a personal shopper who will find the indicated product from la Rinascente in Milan. If the inquirer then decides to buy the item, he/she can proceed in the ‘classical’ way through a link and credit card, or by bank transfer. The article will arrive at destination a few days later. While awaiting the first results of this new channel, focus falls on-line business model for jewelry, which enjoys a 63% share of the Jewelry & Watches segment and registers a double-figure growth rate, driven by some leading partners, such as Bulgari. Costume jewelry has an incidence of about 4% and, unlike the jewelry for which the top 5 brands achieve the greatest part of their overall sales, is the most fragmented. Watches hold the remaining 37%, with interesting trends linked to brands such as Hublot and Breitling. Fashion watches, which have a 6% share, have also recorded an increase, especially with brands like Daniel Wellington and Cluse. «We manage jewelry through the ‘concession’ business model, which provides a more eective way of acting in a sector with such a complex structure and product typology» Giacomello continues. «We only intervene directly on the medium range of the market (Costume Jewelry and Fashion Watches), in view of its high fashion content and the need to be flexible in choices and management.» A model that also manages to be competitive due to «concepts of ‘luxury’ and ‘exclusiveness’, constants within all purchase processes. Maximum attention is paid to brand adjacencies and to goods, and, in the more fashion segment, to the search for new ideas,» says Giacomello. She then immediately goes on to underline the importance of the compartment: «The world of jewelry is still one of la Rinascente’s future projects. Our aim is to boost sales and visibility in many of our stores with the consolidation of existing partnerships and the creation of new ones, thus guaranteeing an updated oer in line with customer expectations.»

  • Bulgari windows at La Rinascente, Milan

    Bulgari windows at La Rinascente, Milan

  • The Bulgari corner at La Rinascente, Milan

    The Bulgari corner at La Rinascente, Milan

  • The jewelry displays at La Rinascente, Milan

    The jewelry displays at La Rinascente, Milan

Not a normal shop, much more than a department store. La Rinascente is delegated to refined shopping and has been for one hundred years
Via Santa Radegonda, Milan, the alley facing the left knave of the duomo that leads from corso vittorio emanuele to piazza san fedele. This is where, in 1865, with the establishment of a small textile business belonging to brothers Luigi and Ferdinando Bocconi, the prologue of the most significant story in Italian retailer history was written. A plot that developed into an all-round luxury department store: la Rinascente. A shopping temple that unites fashion, design, beauty and food, celebrated also by the lR100. Rinascente Stories of Innovation Exhibition. An excursus that touched on all the various moments of that small shop’s evolution as it rapidly grew to have branches throughout Italy and which, in 1917, took the name of Magazzini Bocconi to later become, once purchased by Senator Borletti, la Rinascente, an evocative name penned by Gabriele D’Annunzio. Much more than a normal shop, dierent to the usual de- partment store, la Rinascente has always felt a calling as a place in which to group know-how, an incubator of ideas, that not only oers consumers goods to buy but also culture to enjoy. Management, ownership, capital and shares have passed through many hands over the 100 years since its birth; many branches have opened and closed all over Italy and incorporations and acquisitions have drawn a fluctuating map. But there is one thing that has never changed over the years: the address, the point of ref- erence - Piazza del Duomo, Milan.

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