Prada’s heir designate vows to keep group in family hands

FILE PHOTO: A logo of luxury goods company Prada is seen at the entrance of a shop in Brussels, Belgium July 2, 2021. REUTERS/Yves Herman

Lorenzo Bertelli, the designated heir to Prada’s Chief Executive Patrizio Bertelli, is determined to maintain the independence of the family-controlled luxury fashion group when he assumes leadership in the coming years. Lorenzo, currently serving as Prada’s marketing chief, has played a crucial role in strengthening the group’s digital presence, with the aim of increasing its share of retail sales from 2% to 15% in the medium term.

During an investor presentation, Patrizio Bertelli officially anointed Lorenzo as his successor, with the transition expected to take place in three to four years. Both Bertellis emphasized that the group, in which the family holds an 80% stake, is not available for sale.

Lorenzo has expressed a strong desire to preserve the group’s family ownership, underlining the importance of Prada’s independence to him. While not ruling out the possibility of acquiring other brands, he mentioned that there are currently no immediate opportunities. Regarding the sale of Prada or Miu Miu products on, Lorenzo indicated that it is not currently being considered, citing concerns about Amazon’s readiness for larger luxury brands.

Instead, Prada is exploring the potential of investing in a joint e-commerce venture discussed between Richemont, the owner of Cartier, and online retailer Farfetch. Lorenzo sees this as a potential opportunity for Prada. The group has also unveiled a medium-term goal of achieving a 20% operating profit margin, opting for realistic objectives rather than overly ambitious targets.

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