Blog / Apr. 16

Italian Retail Executives Share Best Practices, Exclusive Insights on Retail Reinvention

Patrizia Calvia

On April 4, the “who’s who” of Italian fashion retailers attended Aptos’ Thinking Retail Forum Milano. The event was held at the Lindt Chocolate Factory, managed by Lindt partner SelecTTrade.

In this colorful and “sweet” atmosphere, the Thinking Retail Forum welcomed C-level executives and managers from the highest-profile luxury and fashion brands in Italy, replicating the success of the Thinking Retail Forums that were held in Paris, Berlin, Shanghai and New York City in 2018.

Under the theme “Retail Reinvention: How to Improve the Customer Journey at Each Step,” Aptos’ Alberto Riva delivered the keynote speech that discussed the opportunities – and challenges – Italian retailers face as more digital-ready consumers embrace multichannel shopping.

Thinking retail Milan
Alberto Rivas of Aptos kicks off the day with an analysis of the evolving customer journey

“Delivering a differentiated customer experience is about finding new ways to interact, but also about getting product, assortment and stock just right,” noted Riva. “An end-to-end approach, from POS to PLM and planning, can help retailers unlock hidden omnichannel margins by ensuring localized assortments and integrated experiences.”

Following Riva on stage was Edoardo Bulgheroni, President of SelecTTrade, the Exclusive Italian Retail Partner of the Lindt Group. Bulgheroni shared with delegates his deep expertise and understanding of the Italian retail market. He also described the experience of SelecTTrade in managing the Lindt Italian retail adventure, developing and operating a network of over 50 Lindt stores throughout the country.

Thinking Retail Milan
Edoardo Bulgheroni, President of SelecTTrade, describes their success with Lindt chocolates

During Bulgheroni’s session, it became clear that the confectionary sector shared many similarities with fashion, including vast assortments, peak periods, different retail formats, and the number one priority across all retailers – delighting customers.

“Our emphasis is on engaging consumers through great in-store experiences to drive brand equity and loyalty,” stated Bulgheroni. “Our Promise is that every Customer will leave our Shops with a Chocolate Smile and a Bag full of Lindt Enjoyment”.

The next speaker was Francesco Pinto, Chairman of Inticom SpA, part of Pianoforte Group. Pinto spoke in depth about the PLM journey the company has been undertaking with Aptos across its brands – Carpisa, Yamamay and Jaked.

Pinto highlighted how important it is to establish collaborative and streamlined processes inside the company and how PLM can ultimately help in managing these flows.

“Our products are the result of a collective effort and intelligence,” Pinto stated. “Different people from different departments, in different moments, contribute to the realization of a style. The product is not a static entity, but evolves within a structured, collaborative and monitored workflow of ideas and information.”

Following Pinto’s inspiring presentation, Massimo Degan, COO of Original Marines, captivated the audience by describing how the popular kidswear retailer had successfully made the transition to omnichannel.

“Retailers have to change their answers because the questions have changed,” noted Degan. “Modern retailing has evolved from being manufacturing-driven to being completely customer-driven, and this calls for new business and operational models. At Original Marines, we have undertaken several programs over the years that brought our business closer to our customers and their needs and made our processes more efficient and sustainable. The Aptos Planning implementation is an important component of this evolution and strategy.”

Degan also presented a compelling history of Original Marines, a company that recently celebrated its 35th anniversary.

In addition to the insights and real-world examples provided by Degan, Pinto and Bulgheroni, the Thinking Retail Forum included presentations from Aptos experts who provided live demos of Aptos solutions for retail planning and PLM, in addition to a demo of Aptos ONE, a microservices-based SaaS platform.

Thinking Retail Milan
Aptos PLM Product Manager, Luca Ferraris takes the stage to talk on the future of collaboration

With an eye to the future, two additional presentations were dedicated to augmented reality (AR); one session described innovative use cases of AR technology within PLM, while the other, led by Aptos partner Sense, provided attendees with the fascinating experience of an AR-enabled catwalk.

Thinking Retail Milan
Executives from Sense helped attendees try A/R product design on their own photos

In addition to an agenda rich in content, Italian retail leaders participated in robust networking throughout the day, demonstrating just how valuable it is for members of the retail community to meet face to face in a noncompetitive environment to discuss new ideas and share best practices that can be applied back to their businesses.

We can’t thank enough all of the speakers and delegates who participated in this event and contributed to its great success. Grazie to everyone who attended, particularly our dynamic retailer speakers Massimo Degan, Francesco Pinto and Edoardo Bulgheroni.

If you are interested in attending an upcoming Aptos event, click here to see where our retail and technology experts will be next.