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Versace to Open 30 More Stores This Year

Retail now accounts for well over half of Versace's business.
A look from Versace's fall 2015 show. Photo: Pietro D'Aprano/Stringer/Getty Images

A look from Versace's fall 2015 show. Photo: Pietro D'Aprano/Stringer/Getty Images

Buoyed by strong sales and a $208 million investment from Blackstone last year, Gianni Versace S.p.A. is continuing to expand. The company announced in its 2014 earnings report on Tuesday that, after opening 40 stores in 2014, Versace plans to open 30 more this year. Those stores will be in not-yet-specified locations in the U.S., Europe and Asia, with an especially strong retail push planned for Japan.

Thanks in part to Versace's expanding store network, retail sales were up 16 percent last year, accounting for 57 percent of the company's business. Sales overall were strong, increasing by 16.9 percent to $598 million, though not as strong as the 28 percent growth in sales Versace saw between 2012 and 2013. All parts of the business — retail, wholesale, royalties — contributed to the growth; the company noted that U.S. sales were particularly strong, and that Versus Versace, which just brought on Anthony Vaccarello as creative director, more than doubled its revenue last year.

Versace is still privately held, but all signs suggest it doesn't plan on staying that way for long. In addition to taking the Blackstone investment, the company also announced that it has adopted International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) accounting principles, replacing its Italian accounting system.

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CEO Gian Giacomo Ferraris said he expects Versace to have another year of double-digit growth in 2015, and that the development of the company's retail properties, e-commerce and Versus will continue to be key priorities.