Andreas Baumgärtner has been appointed as managing director in charge of design and marketing at Willy Bogner, as part of the management and strategic changes that are meant to raise the German skiwear and fashion brand's turnover to about €300 million in 2022.
Baumgärtner, who will start at Bogner in April 2017, previously spent many years at Marc O'Polo, all but three of them in charge of design, production, marketing and licensing. His appointment comes after a comprehensive reshuffle of Bogner's management board. Alexander Wirth switched from Ralph Lauren in January to become deputy managing director and chief operating officer, and he was appointed chief executive in September, taking over from Willy Bogner himself. Christian Ender, formerly at Louis Vuitton and Hugo Boss, was hired as head of international sales in January. Jon Jarlgaard, who spent several years at Hugo Boss and Escada, is in charge of purchasing and sourcing. Both of them were appointed to Bogner's executive board in the summer.
The five-year plan put forward by this management group aims to widen the appeal of the Bogner brand beyond the luxury market and into the premium segment, with retail sales in the range of €550 million in 2022. The effort is meant to focus on the German-speaking countries, and more broadly on Europe and North America.
The company has reportedly seen its sales steadily decline from about €220 million four years ago to €202 million last year, and another sales decrease of 5 percent is projected this year. Two years ago Willy Bogner was searching for a buyer but the former German skier apparently couldn't obtain an offer at a suitable price and decided to adjust its strategy for expansion.
As part of the “B23” strategy, Bogner has been realigning its internal structure, unifying business units to make the company more efficient. The German company is rapidly developing online and social media sales divisions. It wants to raise its wholesale turnover through department stores and new partner stores, and to expand its licensing and other partnerships.
The group's strategy to widen its target group has led to a segmentation of the offering. Bogner is launching the “B-Athleisure” range as an intermediary between sport and fashion, providing outfits that mix active wear with fashion. The “smart casual living” segment is described as a combination of informal and business-like style. At the higher end of the range, capsule collections such as Sônia Bogner position the brand in the luxury segment. The group adds that the focus of its sports range remains on its skiwear, but that Bogner is expanding in summer with products for other sports, such as mountaineering.