Collection and industry risks
Collection and industry risks can arise from changes in fashion and lifestyle trends. The challenge lies in identifying the right trends in time and translating these quickly into an unmistakable collection statement. HUGO BOSS counters these risks with in-depth analyses of target groups and markets and the detailed assessment of the development of sales in the past season. Greater proximity to customers through the retail business also makes a major contribution toward quickly channeling information on trends and consumer behavior into collections. The probability of occurrence of collection and industry risks is therefore deemed unlikely by management. Potential adverse effects are classified as minor. Group strategy
Risks to the brand and corporate image
The economic success of HUGO BOSS hinges on the brand image together with a strong and lasting positioning of the Group's brands in the premium and luxury market. As a consequence, protecting and maintaining brand image has a high priority at HUGO BOSS. Strategic measures are taken for this purpose, including but not limited to a continuous monitoring of markets and media, clearly differentiated brand positioning supported by targeted marketing activities and a globally consistent brand presence. In addition, legal trademark protection and the prosecution of product piracy are important efforts to secure the brand image.
The corporate image of the HUGO BOSS Group is reflected in its perception by stakeholders such as customers, shareholders, suppliers and employees. Corporate communication is centrally coordinated by the corporate communication and investor relations departments. HUGO BOSS uses these interfaces to stay in continuous dialog with key interest groups. Compliance with laws, standards and guidelines, both within the Group and by suppliers is also regularly verified. Nevertheless, negative effects on the brand image and the Group's reputation remain possible. Based on the measures taken, however, the effects on the Group's net assets, financial position and results of operations are deemed minor.
One of the core strategic measures of HUGO BOSS is to continue the expansion of the Group's own retail business. Retail activities involve investment risks that arise in connection with the establishment and maintenance of stores, long-term leases and personnel expenses. This leads to an increase in fixed costs. However, it also widens the gross profit margin. To keep the risk of bad investments and unprofitable Group retail stores as low as possible, decisions on the opening and closing of stores are made centrally in consultation with the responsible regional director. Prior to opening new retail stores, all locations are thoroughly examined regarding their potential and comprehensive sales and development plans are prepared. Nevertheless, there is still a general risk that individual retail stores of the Group will fail to reach the originally budgeted sales targets and, in the worst case, that they might need to be closed. Group companies therefore have to submit a monthly report on the performance of their retail activities so that negative developments can be detected early and countermeasures taken. The investment risk is also mitigated by the standardized store concept used in all points of sale worldwide, which means that fixtures and fittings can be redeployed elsewhere if a store is closed. As part of general investment controlling activities, the value contribution of all other investments is also examined taking into account the risks involved. In light of the measures described above, the investment risk is deemed minor and unlikely to occur. Group management, Investment controlling