Italian clothes store OVS courts big brands to turbo-charge new strategy

MILAN, April 16 (Reuters) - Italian clothing retailer OVS wants to bring big global names, such as Abercrombie & Fitch or Levi’s, into some of its stores and online shop, as part of its new strategy to move away from focusing solely on its own brands.

The group owns two main brands, OVS and Upim, but it signed a distribution deal with Gap Inc last month to bolster its plans to become a broader clothing retail platform. It also offers some other small brands under licence or concession.

“I don’t want to compete with (online clothing retailer) Zalando, I want to host brands that are consistent with ours,” Chief Executive Stefano Beraldo said on Friday.

In a conference call following its 2020 results, Beraldo said he wanted to invite Abercrombie & Fitch and Levi’s to sell through some of its shops.

In terms of possible M&A, Beraldo said OVS, which is planning a 80 million euros ($95.8 million) capital increase by July, was not interested in the acquisition of big retail brands such as Benetton Group.

Rather it is looking at buying shop networks that can be converted into OVS’s stores, or acquiring the small brands that the group already sells under licence.

$1 = 0.8347 euros Reporting by Elisa Anzolin; Editing by Pravin Char