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Luna Journal was talking exclusively to Christian Storath about his new position.
Vita Kids Business:
- HUGO BOSS: Team Lead Brand Manger BO Jr. (2015/ 2016)
- KFG/ JBG: Head of Sales and Export (2011/ 2015)
- LEMMi: Head of Export and Marketing (2010/ 2011)
- Kanz/ STEIFF: Head of Export (2008/ 2010)
- Hohe/ Pampolina Area: Country Manager (1996/ 2008)
Luna Journal: Congratulations on your appointment as Commercial Manager of CWF Children Worldwide Fashion. Is this a newly created position?
Christian Storath: Thank you. Yes, the position is new and a sign that CWF places a high priority on the German and Austrian markets. Until now, our representatives have been offering the CWF brands and we want to support them.
Luna Journal: What are your first impressions?
Christian Storath: They are very good. Above all, there’s already a great sales team. For a global company of this size, CWF is extraordinarily effective. The punctual and complete delivery of all 10 renowned brands is remarkable. A logistical master performance! We’re currently developing new strategies for Germany and Austria.
Luna Journal: What are your immediate priorities?
Christian Storath: All our brands have priority. In my area of responsibility, HUGO BOSS Kids is, of course, key as a German premium label. That has our particular attention. In addition, we are focusing on Timberland, Billieblush, and Billy Bandit. We’ll also be establishing our latest licenses, Zadig & Voltaire and Karl Lagerfeld, in Germany and Austria step by step.
Luna Journal: What is the main focus for you in the retail sector?
Christian Storath: It’s definitely the multi-brand store collaborations with our existing and future partners.
Luna Journal: What lessons will you be taking from the French and other international markets as you develop the DACH strategy?
Christian Storath: Retail is one of the areas where CWF can build on solid foundations of experience gained in France and England. We work together with Galeries Lafayette very successfully in more than 45 department stores in France. In England too, we’re achieving excellent results in cooperation with House of Fraser and learning from this experience. Of course, the idea isn’t to copy these projects. The markets are too different for that. In addition to multi-brand store collaborations, we also want to push the pace of our own retail. We’ll have to see how the market responds to our first steps, what kind of demand there is for Billieblush, for example, or whether formal wear or casual wear works better at HUGO BOSS Kids. Then we’ll adjust things accordingly.
Luna Journal: Do you see clear differences between Austria and Germany?
Christian Storath: In addition to the difference in the absolute numbers, 8.5 million compared to 80 million inhabitants, it is striking how different the tastes are in Austria. There are differences between each county and between the big cities of Vienna, Graz, Linz, and Salzburg. In Germany, it’s more simple. To put it crudely, northern Germany is more classically oriented, and southern Germany is a bit more colourful.
For wholesale, boutiques play an important role in Austria. Our sales team will be looking for additional suitable partners there, but we’re also prepared to develop our own locations or franchise partners, starting in the largest cities.
Luna Journal: Thank you for the interview