Editorial Board member Loick Le Moigne met with Gilles Domenech and Antonio Canovese at the launch of Venistar’s French offices. This exclusive interview provides some context to the company’s expansion and insight into its launch event in Paris on 4th April.
Venistar bill themselves as a leading provider of omni-channel solutions and consulting services to the international fashion and luxury market. The company is currently pursuing an expansion into Northern Europe, and WhichERP had the opportunity to speak to its French president following his territory’s launch event.
At the event itself – to which more than 30 international retailers were invited – we heard luxury fashion brands like, Esprit, Ferrari Fashion, and Global Blue heard testimonials from Enrico Franzoni, Chief Operating Officer of Ports 1961, Roberto Raspini, Chief Information Officer of Emilio Pucci, and Alessandro Mazio, Venistar Project Manager at Ferrari.
Held in Saint Germain en Laye (just west of Paris) the event was also an opportunity for Venistar’s representatives in France to present their “FashionAble Enterprise and Retail” offering. Gilles Domenech (President of Venistar France) and Antonio Canovese (Venistar Digital Solutions and Alliances Manager) presented their plans for the company’s expansion, with Canovese saying: “Our strategy is to develop offices close to our customers and the key markets for fashion and luxury industry”.
Following the Paris event and ahead of Venistar’s next FashionAble Event (to be held in Amsterdam, on 16th May), I had the opportunity to speak to Gilles Domenech and Antonio Canovese and gain some insight into Venistar itself, as well as the company’s plans for northern Europe.
Loick Le Moigne: Can you tell our readers a little about Venistar?
Antonio Canovese (above pictured fourth from the left): Venistar is a leading omni-channel IT consulting and solutions provider for wholesale distribution and retail dedicated solely to international fashion & luxury Industry. We started our operations in Venice, Italy in 2005, and as of today Venistar counts 60 professionals specialising in fashion & luxury, distribution and retail processes. Venistar FashionAble Solutions serves 100 global brands and 18.000 users in more than 38 countries.
Loick Le Moigne: At the event, we saw a presentation from Alan Sharpe, VP in Europe for Retail Pro International. Can you give me some insight into your partnership with them?
Antonio Canovese: Venistar is a certified distributor and system integrator for Retail Pro. As the leading global POS solution for international retailers, Retail Pro is used in 52,000 stores, across 87 countries, and in 18 languages. Our partnership with Retail Pro International perfectly fit our strategy to offer the best global POS solutions (Retail Pro and Retail Pro Prism) integrated with FashionAble Retail – the leading omnichannel distribution platform for fashion & luxury.
Loick Le Moigne: Who do you count as customers?
Antonio Canovese: Venistar has worked with many fashion and luxury brands, including: Bally, Bata, Benetton, Bruno Magli, Bulgari, Chantecler, Church’s, Ecco, Damiani, Emilio Pucci, , Fendi, Ferrari, Geox, Guess, Helly Hansen, Illy, Lanvin, La Perla, Liu Jo, Michael Kors, Pinko, Ports1961, Replay, Salvatore Ferragamo, Stefanel, Valentino, Valextra, Vivienne Westwoodand, Zanotti and more.
Loick Le Moigne: How would you describe your approach? With a roster of luxury brands and retailers to cater for, you must face some difficult challenges.
Antonio Canovese: Our customer base is made of international brands constantly looking for innovation. B2B and B2C Customers are looking for new exciting experiences: mobile apps for collection orders (B2B), marketing apps for loyalty and mobile commerce (B2C), multichannel marketing and CRM and more. Venistar’s FashionAble Solutions have been designed to be digital innovation enablers. FashionAble Enterprise is a modular platform able to extend and integrate any existing ERP and POS with modules in use by the most important brands in the world.
At Venistar, we think that enabling digital omni-channel smart innovation is the key to success. So, as a digital-first company truly dedicated to luxury fashion, we put together a very tailored consultancy / advisory offering. Our subject matter experts have more than 300 years’ experience between them, and we are delivering solutions and integration services that meet the unique needs of fashion & luxury on an international level.
Gilles Domenech (above pictured far right, in the forefront): In short, our approach is to understand the challenges of our customers. And those can be summed up in one phrase: smart digital innovation for international retail and distribution
Loick Le Moigne: If we are summing things up, how would you briefly describe what you feel differentiates Venistar from other service providers?
Antonio Canovese: Clearly, if we look at our customer base, we see that specialisation pays: in the last 4 years our platforms were adopted by more than 100 small, medium and global brands. This means that our solutions are innovative, fast to activate and very easy to use, as well as being suitable for business of all sizes.
Gilles Domenech: That and the fact that our FashionAble Solutions are really “ready to use”.
Loick Le Moigne: Why has Venistar decided to approach Northern Europe – and specifically France?
Gilles Domenech: As an international company, we aim to serve our customers’ needs as closely as possible. To do this, we need to take into consideration any kind of local or regional issues such as local culture, specific laws, languages, new regulations, and the like. Being close to the customer geographically will help us to deliver this.
It is also about the fact that we recognise the fashion and luxury market has two major territories: Italy and France!
Loick Le Moigne: In your opinion, what are the most prominent trends affecting retail in general and luxury brands in particular?
Gilles Domenech: The world is shrinking and becoming more and more digital. Consumers are more demanding than ever before, and their needs are more vocal and challenging in terms of product customization, trend, and a transformative shopping experience.
This requires greater imagination, creativity, and a faster pace of innovation for companies like ours. For instance, physical loyalty cards are in the process of being replaced by mobile applications, RFID will finally overtake the barcode, and consumers are becoming more and more willing to buy wearable digital technology.
In fashion retail, more than anywhere else, the store of tomorrow is required today!