Richemont to expand Florence leather goods manufacturing

Swiss luxury group Richemont is to focus its leather goods business in Florence, as it aims to centralise the production of accessories such as handbags, wallets, belts and travel goods for its portfolio of luxury brands.

Richemont is banking that made in Italy will be a draw for its customers, similar to rival companies Kering and LVMH.

Italian newspaper Il Sole 24 Ore states Richemont brands that will produce in Florence include Cartier, Dunhill, Serapian, Purdey and Alaïa, in addition to research and development by the Chloé maison.

The five-year business plan, according to Il Sole 24 Ore, expects growth from 120 million euro turnover expected this year to 350 million in 2023, doubling the number of employees, from the current 110 to over 200.

The group also aims to increase factory output with larger manufacturing facilities and expanding the development of new product categories.

In 2017, the export of the Florentine district of luxury leather goods recorded an increase of 15 percent to 2.5 billion euros according to Pambianco News. Luxury brands which have returned to Florence to invest in their accessories businesses include Céline, Prada, Fendi, Gucci and LVMH.

"Leather goods has become the third pillar of the group after watches and jewelery, and now this industrial choice will strengthen the position reached, thanks to the fact that other best practices acquired in the Florentine area," Giacomo Cortesi, CEO of Pelletteria Richemont stated in Il Sole 24 Ore.

Richemont saw sales rise 2.2 percent in the first quarter of 2018. Last year's profits were hit by a 200 million euro buyback of watches from 'grey' markets.

Photo credit: Made in Italy certification, source: Made in Italy website

 

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