I’ve been a fan of Hugo Boss fashion, maybe it is just the German in me that wants to naturally lean that way, but I typically can’t afford to shop there. Instead I wait for those bright moments when an item shows up at a store like Marshalls, where all of a sudden Hugo Boss becomes enjoyably affordable. Sure, there are plenty of people much wealthier than I, and can afford to go straight to the source, but retail sales trends would show that I am not alone. Luxury brands are fighting to recoup lost sales since the economy tanked, and for a company like Hugo Boss, that means resetting leadership at the top, and bringing in an old face that knows a thing or two about selling those wonderfully looking expensive pieces of fabric.
Not even two years into the gig, it was announced in a press release that Hugo Boss’ head of US operations, Gerrit Ruetzel, will be stepping down at the end of September to ‘seek other opportunities”, which we all known is a fancy way of saying “your’re fired”.
Taking his place will be Anthony Lucia, who had previously put in a decade of work at Hugo Boss before leaving in 2008 to pursue new opportunities himself. During his previous run at the company, Lucia was able to oversee a sequence of double-digit sales growth, which after second quarter sales recently fell 21 percent, even single digit growth would be considered a success.
Perhaps Lucia does indeed hold the secret key to selling expensive fabric, but the days when he had led the company to growth look very different post-2008. I’d like to see the company do well, but until I find that new source of income, I’ll be scrounging through the racks at Marshalls and TJ Maxx.