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40th Anniversary of McQuinn: More Products and New Ideas

8 July, 2013

Miguel Pantaleoni with the actor and star of the TV series Polseres vermelles, Àlex Monner. / McQuinn

Its own clothing line, a new brand image and fashion for young women. These are the projects McQuinn has undertaken to coincide with its 40th anniversary.

The current economic situation is “the toughest” that businessman and owner of the multibrand fashion chain McQuinn, Miguel Pantaleoni, recalls. But the economic background is no obstacle to the firm continuing to come up with ideas to adapt to the market and offer new products and services.

Pantaleoni is the fifth-generation head of a family business well-known in the Barcelona fashion sector for having also been the owners of the Modelo tailor’s shop and the Leoni chain.

Since it was established in 1974, McQuinn has striven to become a fashion reference point among young people aged 12 to 22 and is now set to make a name for itself for women aged 22 to 27.

“Knowing how to adapt to the market each season and stocking the labels our customers want is the key to a business still being around after 40 years,” Pantaleoni explains, adding, “It’s important to offer a good price-quality ratio, too”.  These are words born from experience and a careful analysis of the present context in which the company finds itself.

Aware of the value the brand has built up after four decades in which eight own stores have been opened, Pantaleoni is convinced that McQuinn is now “well-known enough” to create its own label. “Next autumn/winter season we will have McQuinn t-shirts and sweaters for boys. Young people will be able to have these clothing items at a better price and we will improve margins”.

In movement

Over the past five years, McQuinn has doubled the number of own stores from the four it had in 2008 to eight today.

This expansion has been possible thanks to an investment of €1.5 million. In relation to sales, McQuinn explains that in 2012 turnover came to three million euros. “Today margins in our sector are much tighter and we believe that offering our own products will help drive sales,” Pantaleoni says. 

Priorities for moving forwards

Miguel Pantaleoni would like the McQuinn label to eventually represent around 30% of sales. If he gets that, he says, he will be “satisfied”.

In order to improve the business figures in the current economic climate, the firm has prioritised cutting expenses to the bone so long as they “don’t affect the quality of the service”.

McQuinn has outsourced product distribution, increased the number of special offers and promotions for customers and focused particularly on “committing to the brands that are most popular with their target publics”.

A list of 40 different labels makes up the offer available at the chain of stores. They include Roxy, Rams 23, Burton, Vans and Volcom, all of which represent “a similar style – urban fashion inspired by the surfing and skateboarding cultures,” Pantaleoni says.

His business follows fashion trends closely and keeps an eye on the evolution of the skateboarder community in Barcelona. “Barcelona has the potential to become the European skateboard capital,” he says. “The success of the X Games could be the starting point to achieve it.”

Improving visibility

To get as close as possible to the segment of young people at which McQuinn’s offer is targeted, another idea the firm had was to sign up the actor and star  of the TV series Polseres vermelles, Àlex Monner.

The result of this communication strategy “has been very positive and without a doubt has contributed to taking awareness of the brand beyond its regular market segment,” say sources from the McQuinn marketing department.

As it celebrates these four decades of life, McQuinn looks likely to continue to apply the maxim that has brought it this far, i.e., “constant adaptation”. Now what they are after is to “make it to at least half a century of being in business”.

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