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Prada: From Family-Owned Business to Global Luxury Goods Powerhouse

Prada Group (Prada) is one of the world’s leading players in the design, production and distribution of luxury leather goods (including handbags), footwear, apparel, accessories, eyewear and fragrances. The company owns and operates four brands: Prada, Miu Miu, Church’s and Car Shoe. Prada retails its goods through a network of 345 directly operated outlets, 30 franchise stores, and concessions in upscale department stores such as Saks Fifth Avenue (New York), KaDeWe (Berlin) and Harrods (London). The company undertook an Initial Public Offering (IPO) in June 2011 and is now listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange under the ticker 1913.

Since Mario Prada opened a small store in Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II in Milan selling leather bags, beauty cases and accessories, the Prada brand has become synonymous with style and elegance. In the space of less than 100 years, the company has been transformed from a family-run, one-store operation in to one of the world’s leading producers and retailers of luxury goods and haute couture. This has been achieved via a number of strategies.

The company has continually evolved its fashion lines to keep up with, and often even set the latest fashion trends. Prada has also very successfully expanded its offering to include leather goods, footwear, eyewear, fragrances and ready-to-wear clothing for men and women. Furthermore, the company has embarked on an ambitious program of global expansion, turning it from an exclusively Italian operation in to a company that has stores on three continents. This has given the fashion house a strong foothold in several markets.

Prada has supplemented this product line expansion with the acquisition of existing brands that have a strong presence in their own markets. The company has successfully acquired and integrated the British men’s shoe brand Church’s and Italian shoe manufacturer Car Shoe into the Prada Group.

Prada established the high fashion brand Miu Miu aimed at attracting a younger, more avant-garde female clientele. The brand has used young celebrity spokespeople and models such as Lindsay Lohan, Katie Holmes and Ginta Lapina to promote its products.

The fashion house has invested significant resources in marketing and has effectively positioned both Prada and Miu Miu as much sought-after, prestigious, high-end brands that carry certain kudos. Prada’s red tab logo has come to denote style, class and refinement.

Read more in our latest case study – Prada Case Study: From Family-Owned Business to Global Luxury Goods Powerhouse

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