Italy has a $21.6 million plan to sell Americans more clothes
This article, written by Marc Bain, appears on Quartz.
Beware, Americans: Italian fashion is coming for your wallet.
At an event in New York yesterday (July 20), Carlo Calenda, Italy’s vice minister of economic development, unveiled a year-long, $21.6-million plan to boost Italian exports to the US, including food but focusing largely on fashion.
Italy will be rolling out media campaigns, promotional events, and partnerships with major US retailers, including Saks Fifth Avenue and Nordstrom, in order to grab a greater share of the US consumer market, which for now anyway is the largest in the world.
“The US market is the one with the biggest potential,” Maurizio Forte, trade commissioner and executive director for the US of the Italian Trade Commission, tells Quartz. “Not only is it the growth we’re having now, but we’re seeing that it will be quite consistent in the next years.”
Forte points out that, while Italian labels are already established on the coasts, in cities such as New York and Miami on the East Coast and Los Angeles on West, they aren’t as present elsewhere. “In central parts of the country, we have tremendous space for growth, for example in Texas, Colorado, and Montana, just to mention some according to research we have,” he says.
Italy is also eager to reach the burgeoning group of young consumers in the US. Millennials in the country earned a combined $1.1 trillion in post-tax income in 2013, according to Euromonitor, and about one-third of Americans are under the age of 25. These shoppers are keenly interested in where and how the products they buy are made. That tag on clothing that says “Made in Italy” already adds prestige (even if a growing number of Italian products come from factories that are Chinese-owned and staffed), and Italy hopes to appeal to them with its tradition of craftsmanship and reputation for exceptional design.
The plan isn’t just intended to increase sales of established Italian brands, though. The “most important goal,” according to Forte, is introducing new labels to the US market. Read more on Quartz.
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