In this week’s Clicks and Mortar event, L2 cofounder Maureen Mullen spoke about the hottest retailers across all malls – which are Valentino and Chick-fil-A, according to mall executives. The first does not come as a surprise, as Valentino has experienced fast growth in the past years. Revenues started to jump in 2013, a year after Qatari group Mayhoola purchased it a year before. Much of that growth has been attributed to stores. As CEO Stefano Sassi says in an interview, “A very important turning point was when we presented the new store concept in Milan. It was three years ago, maybe. With the Milano flagship store, designed by [David] Chipperfield, we got [an] immediate response: the retail concept and the product [worked] in such a way that we [were] ahead in that store, 60 percent in one year. That store was poof that the message of the new Valentino was [becoming] clearer.”
But Valentino’s success is not completely tied to its brick-and-mortar locations. The brand has also made notable improvements to its digital assets. In L2’s latest Digital IQ Index: Fashion, Valentino is considered one of the Index winners for bumping its percentile rank by 32%. (It is now a Gifted brand while it fell in the Average category in 2014.) It is an innovator in omnichannel, being one of ten brands to have implemented an order online, pick up in store feature.
But perhaps Valentino’s biggest accomplishment was surpassing social media king Michael Kors in Instagram mentions. As a result of tripling its post frequency and achieving the largest share of voice on Instagram, #valentino was mentioned 10 million more times than #michaelkors or any hashtag campaign from the brand.
Becoming one of luxury’s digital leaders is no small feat for a traditional brand considered dated just a few years ago. The turnaround strategy is successful, and it doesn’t focus on a digital or retail presence. Instead, Valentino uses every consumer touchpoint as a way to showcase its rebranding.