It sells clothes with catchy ads. Now the power of that creativity is set to become a service line as popular Italian clothing and accessories maker Benetton Group forays into content and design services, in a bid to cope with downturn.
The group, present in 120 countries through 6,500 stores, plans to cover design, photography, videos, music and publishing.
"We may soon sell consumer-friendly innovative products in many countries," said Dan Hill, the newly-appointed MD of Fabrica, the brand communication centre of the group, which will drive the diversification.
"We will start the business through the pop-up store format and span into galleries, studios and full-fledged retail showrooms." Hill was adjunct professor at Sydney's University of Technology.
Fabrica is notorious for provocative advertisements such as the one last year that showed international leaders kissing, aimed at sparking awareness on controversial social issues.
"It is no secret that the market is tough and through Fabrica, innovations will help us sail the bad tide," said Alessandro Benetton, the son of group founder Luciano Benetton and the new group head. He will also head Fabrica.
(The writer's travel and stay were sponsored by Benetton)