Bimba y Lola appoints new CEO and suspends sale
Spanish women’s fashion brand Bimba y Lola has announced the appointment of Jose Manuel Martinez as its new CEO. In this role, he will drive the company’s strategic plan over the next five years, as it moves forward with its ambition to become a global brand.
The appointment comes just three days after it was announced that Nicolas Corral, who served as chief executive of the company for six years, is leaving for Acciona.
The company owned by sisters Maria and Uxia Dominguez has also halted plans to sell itself.
“We are not in a sale process,” said company sources. A number of bidders have been turned down after they failed to meet the high asking price that had been set by the company’s owners, reaching between €450 million and €500 million, according to El Economista.
Jose Manuel Martinez has more than 15 years of experience in fashion and retail. He spent the last 6 years as CEO of Esprit and prior to that, he held a variety of roles at clothing group Inditex for nine years. Martinez will be responsible for driving the development of the strategic plan for the period 2018-2022 alongside the company’s founders, Maria and Uxia Dominguez.
The plan includes several strategies, including accelerating its international expansion. Since opening its first stores in Spain and Portugal in 2006, Bimba y Lola has continued to launch in new countries and has currently bricks-and-mortar stores in 14 countries. The latest launch was in Italy, where the brand opened a new boutique in Rome last week.
Italy, France and Mexico are indeed where the brand sees the best opportunities. Additionally, it is working on launching in “some of the world’s largest most attractive markets," it said in a statement.
Along these lines, the brand will expand its store network, which currently includes 249 locations, and make “a major expansion effort” focused on international markets.
As well as expanding, the brand will put its omnichannel capabilities at the centre of its strategy over the next five years. Bimba y Lola, which already sells its products online in approximately 30 countries, will continue to develop initiatives in the digital space.
Additionally, Bimba y Lola will invest in strengthening and growing its teams, as evidenced by the hire of Jose Manual Martinez, who will be at the helm of the 1,340-strong workforce. According to a statement, there will be more appointments soon.
Finally, the company will create a board of directors. It will become the highest governing body of the company and allow the arrival of independent professionals who will help the new CEO and the Dominguez sisters with the management of the business.
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