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Safilo appoints ex-Benetton executive to head e-commerce

Eyewear firm Safilo has appointed Andrea Bulgarelli to the newly created role of digital transformation director, as the Dutch-owned Italian company sets its sights on renovating its e-commerce infrastructure by 2020.

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An e-commerce fashion veteran, Bulgarelli comes from fellow Italian firm Benetton, which he joined in 2015 as group digital business director.

Prior to his two year stint at Benetton, Bulgarelli was pivotal in the creation of e-commerce sites at luxury fashion Max Mara from 2007 to 2015, serving as the group global digital and e-commerce director for eight years. He came to Max Mara as operations and innovation director, after two year’s experience in sales.

He is a graduate in telecommunications engineering and has an MBA in business administration.

In his new role at Safilo, Bulgarelli will oversee the management of all consumer-facing touchpoints including merchandising planning, direct e-commerce, digital marketing, content production and CRM – all functions that he performed, among others, at Benetton.

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His appointment underpins Safilo’s direct-to-consumer strategy currently being executed, within its industrial plan for 2020.

“Digital initiatives are at the heart of our growth and development strategy […] thanks to Andrea Bulgarelli’s leadership, we will finally be able to accelerate our e-commerce activities and our digital transformation,” explained Safilo CEO Angelo Trocchia.

However, Safilo’s most recent financials were far from rosy. On November 3, the group reported third-quarter revenues of €221.5 million, down 9% at current exchange rates compared to the same period in 2017.

The situation was similar over the first nine months of the year, with revenue down 9.7% to €713.7 million, compared to €790.5 million in 2017.

Founded in 1934 by Guglielmo Tabacchi in Pieve di Cador, Safilo Group today designs, produces and distributes prescription frames, sunglasses, sports eyewear and helmets under its own five house brands and 32 licensed brands including Dior, Fendi, Givenchy, Moschino and Tommy Hilfiger and is owned by Hal Holdings since 2008, the Dutch investment firm which holds 37.23% of the company.