Vespa looks to widen US reach

Italian scooter brand to expand Stateside with fresh lines like apparel and consumer goods.
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Brandweek.com has reported that Vespa is moving into new categories from 2008 as it looks to widen recognition of the brand in the US market.

The strategy - executed by the New York division of The Beanstalk Group - will focus on apparel, accessories and kitchen appliances. Products are likely to hit stores towards the end of next year and will target mid-tier and higher-end retailers.

"The equities of Vespa - Italian design, highly stylish, modern, colourful, free-spirited and environmentally sensitive - should translate well to a number of product categories," commented Michael Stone, Beanstalk president and CEO.

Paolo Timoni, president and CEO of Piaggio Group (which makes and imports Vespa scooters), added: "Licensing will promote and grow the Vespa brand as a leader in the scooter industry. More difficult is establishing the motor scooter category in the US."

Apparently, there are only about one million Americans who drive scooters currently, while in Europe this figure is in excess of 20 million.

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