Philipp Plein to exit wholesale and focus on end consumer

Philipp Plein, the Switzerland-based maximalist brand known for its more-is-more aesthetic, is to exit wholesale and focus on the end customer.

The company recently closed a 3,000sqm space in Milan that served little more than the purpose of presenting its wholesale collections and cost the business two million euros in rent and maintenance per year.

“The decision had already been taken before the outbreak of the pandemic, Covid-19 only accelerated the process,” said the German designer yesterday at a press conference in its Lugano headquarters.”

“The Philipp Plein group was born as a wholesale company, a sector that today is worth only 20-25 percent for us and that in the last 5 years has gone into crisis and continues to worsen. Via dei Giardini has never been an office building, it was only used to present the collections to multi-brand stores. The investment made in 2016 was made against this trend, I was not yet fully aware that this business would suffer so much.”

This year the company expects to post a loss estimated between 60 and 90 million euros but is forging ahead with its expansion strategy. Next week will see it open a first shop-in-shop in Galeries Lafayette, with monobrand store openings planned for Frankfurt, St. Petersburg, China, Malaysia, Manila, Korea and India.

The effect of the pandemic is industry-wide

“The strategic focus of expansion has changed, the organization does not only concern our company but the entire fashion world,” Plein said.

After a recent management reshuffle the company hired Elisa Lubinski as head of global retail, Riccardo Pasero as group CFO from 1st December and Alex Koba, a current employee, as its newly appointed director of omni-channel.

In September the group signed a partnership with eyewear distributor De Rigo for a global launch of sunglasses and prescription eyewear to be released in Q2 2021. The agreement will see Philipp Plein’s eyewear collections distributed globally through the De Rigo sales network and in the brand’s boutiques.

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