Speakers at this year's Summit included: Karel De Gucht, the EU's Commissioner for Trade; Alexis Babeau, Managing Director of Luxury Kering; Claus-Dietrich Lahrs, CEO Hugo Boss; Patrizio di Marco, President & CEO Gucci; and Andrew Rosen, CEO Theory & Helmut Lang.
The Summit is eagerly observed as the luxury sector continues to defy the global recession, achieving double-digit growth and employing a stable six million people in Europe. As Mr De Gucht said, "Europe cannot afford to ignore this example."
On the first day of the Summit, Julia Calabrese joined the panel discussion on Cross-Border
Collaboration As Effective Power Play, together with industry leaders Jean-Marc Loubier, President & CEO Fung Brands, Neil Clifford, CEO Kurt Geiger, Sanjiv Mehta, Chairman & CEO East India Company, and Antonie Belge, Head of Consumer Brands HSBC.
The panel discussed the challenges and opportunities offered by cross-border collaboration, including the types of collaboration that have contributed to McArthurGlen's success, in particular the collaboration with our brand partners, and how our approach has helped us to become the European market leader.
Julia talked about how McArthurGlen looked to be the "partner of choice" of regional and globally integrated brands, and that this collaboration helped brands to decrease the risk of expansion. Many of the more than 100 million shoppers who visited McArthurGlen's 21 Designer Outlets each year, said Julia, did so because of the Group's cross-border collaboration with luxury brands.
Julia presented McArthurGlen's aim to be the "partner of choice" for regionally and globally integrated brands, and underlined how such collaboration allows brands to significantly reduce the risks posed by expansion by offering access to the more than 100 million shoppers who visit McArthurGlen's 21 Designer Outlets each year.
Yes, it's about providing brands with the reliable catchment and a stunning shopping environment, but it's also about the continual personal contact, said Julia.
"We guide and engineer the brands' adaptation to each market they are in," Julia commented to the audience, touching on how sharing key performance indications, from tax-free sales to sales by category is essential.
"Collaboration with us as a local partner makes it easier for the brand to apply aggregation, thereby capitalising on our cross-border relationships with lease deals across our portfolio," she added.
Delegates also found inspiration from the ceiling of the Palais Liechtenstein, the Summit's venue, with its paintings by Pieter Paul Reubens. In his keynote speech earlier that day, EU Commissioner for Trade, Mr De Gucht, had commented on how Reubens could help us to have a better understanding of the European luxury industry.
"In his time, Reubens produced some 1,600 works by his own hands and many more in the studio he ran as a factory, tailor making different lines for different budgets. He had an ability to "marry creativity with business acumen," De Gucht said. "He was a master of the luxury approach to business."
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