2020 was a tough year for Chamomile Italy , as for the entire textile-fashion-accessories (Tma) sector. The same is true for the first months of 2021, but now that our whole country – and beyond – really sees the end of the tunnel, many projects completed during the months of lockdown and in any case in the period of maximum health and then economic emergency and social can take concrete form. IS many of the reflections made during the months in which ordinary activities were, in a certain sense, suspended, can be useful. This is the opinion of Mario Pierro, commercial director of Camomilla Italia (pictured above), who talks about the short and medium-term strategies of the brand and the company based in Naples and which, for now, is aimed above all at the internal market. cHowever, noting to invest in the Chinese market in the short term, using digital platforms such as Alibaba (above, three Camomilla looks for spring-summer 2021).
A network rooted in the territory
Camomilla Italia closed 2020 with a turnover of 53 million: 240 single-brand stores and 2.5 million items sold. For the future, “also by capitalizing on everything that has been experienced and learned during the pandemic, online sales will increasingly integrate with the physical channel», Pierro explains, adding that in a year the visits to the site have been 2.2 million and 1.4 million are the loyal customers.
The weight of the weekend closures
For Camomilla, the reopening of shopping centers on weekends was fundamental: «The turnover of the shops inside these large structures is made in large part with visits on Saturdays and Sundays – underlines Pierro -. The rebound with the change of rules was immediate and generalized, but also linked, in our case, to the loyalty activities we did during the lockdown, to the services we have invented or have perfected, from click and collect to the possibility of ordering online and having the products delivered at home thanks to a network of our young delivery boys, faster and sometimes safer than couriers, especially in smaller cities ». For the future, it will be important to have different formats depending on the surface and location, to reduce costs (which are very high in cities) but also to be more in tune with the needs of different types of customers.
The development of the franchise
The Camomilla Italia franchising project started twenty years ago and today I am almost 100 outlets run by franchisees. «The Camomilla Italia franchising proposal is a real collaboration between the company and the partner with the common goal of success – adds the commercial director -. These are not just words, as the many requests we have for new stores demonstrate. Opening a single-brand franchise in the field of women’s clothing with Camomilla Italia gives the possibility of become part of a team that has gained know-how and skills over the years and all partners have these tools at their disposal. In a market that changes so quickly and where multi-channeling is increasingly important, it is essential for small entrepreneurs who choose the franchise path to rely on digital knowledge and skills that they would not have or could not develop on their own “.
More and more important, for consumers but also for companies, regardless of the demands of end customers, is the corporate social responsibilty, which means both commitment to the environment and to people, inside and outside the company. «Camomilla Italia finances, for example, research against breast cancer, thanks to the collaboration with the initiative Pink is good, in support of the Umberto Veronesi Foundation – explains Pierro -. Furthermore, since we are based in Naples and we grew up here, we have created an ad hoc project to help the children of theSantobono hospital in Naples. No less important than health and contributing to cancer research is support for less fortunate women in other senses. We joined the initiative “Golden Links: Ties are gold”, Which arises from the collaboration between large client companies of Intesa SanPaolo, Caritas Italiana and the S-Nodi Gabriele Nigro Promoting Committee. Thanks to the mediation of local non-profit organizations, fragile people such as marginalized women or inmates make and assemble the clothes and footwear recovered in kits for equally fragile people “.