US fashion giant hires new European marketing chief

Liz Claiborne, the US fashion giant with global sales of $2.5bn (1.5bn), has appointed Nikita Ranade to its newly-created top European marketing role.

She joins from Estée Lauder, where she was marketing manager, and will report to Gaetano Sallorenzo, who was appointed president of Liz Claiborne Europe in September 1997. He says the retailer has a long-term strategy of opening its own branded stores in the UK.

As the company’s first marketing manager for Europe, Ranade will co-ordinate plans to use above-the-line press advertising for the first time in two years.

Gotham was appointed to the UK advertising account in August last year. The agency also holds the US business, worth about $35m (21.2m).

Sallorenzo, who was formerly managing director of Polo Ralph Lauren Europe, says: “We are starting to look at above the line. We are analysing our business in Europe and working out a communications strategy.”

Sallorenzo adds: “Stores are part of our overall strategy. At one point we will need to look at it. It is part of our further development.

“The market is exactly the same as it was at the beginning of the Nineties. Building share is very difficult. We are looking at every aspect of the business to see how we can grow further. We will not move into any new markets this year.”

Liz Claiborne, founded in 1976, is the US’ biggest women’s clothing retailer and first came to UK department stores in 1990. It also manufactures menswear, home furnishings, jewellery, accessories, watches, sunglasses, cosmetics and shoes. Earlier this month the company bought DKNY Jeans.

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