Hugo Boss’ precise tailoring and crisp aesthetic has fueled decades of success in European and North American menswear. The company’s expansion beyond just classic menswear and its ability to retain impressive, steady growth in the retail space position the brand as a true fashion and lifestyle force with staying power.
In late 2014, Hugo Boss announced ambitious growth targets in its growth strategy 2020. This includes a concerted push into womenswear, the expansion of omnichannel offerings, realigning its business model with the requirements of its own retail business, and achieving greater regional balance with a strong focus on under-penetrated markets outside of Europe.
Womenswear, which long constituted a weak spot in Hugo Boss’ offerings, has reemerged as a strong sub-brand under the BOSS core brand, following the hiring of designer Jason Wu as Art Director in 2013. Wu has pushed toward a unified brand aesthetic by channeling the spirit of the brand’s menswear into a modern, feminine women’s line, which reported 10 percent growth over the first three quarters of 2015. The company’s new focus on womenswear reflects a desire to expand its offerings and become more luxurious.
Hugo Boss has also developed into a global player with a more balanced footprint. Europe remains the largest business overall, yet the U.S. has now become its single biggest market. Asia, China in particular, has also become a key contributor to Hugo Boss’ success story. The company’s own retail store network grew to 1,105 in 2015, with flagships in all metropoles like New York, Los Angeles, Paris, London, Beijing, Shanghai, and Hong Kong. As a result of expansion and improvements in sales productivity, the share of its own retail grew to 57 percent of HUGO BOSS Group sales in 2014—a level that is expected to further increase in the years to come.
Together, these efforts are helping to generate the impressive growth seen in the first three quarters of 2015. Sales for Hugo Boss’ retail business (including outlets and online stores) are up by 8 percent while its online channel showed the strongest surge, up 22 percent.