Not just a brand, that is (like many others), just a distribution network. They rather aim to be a company with “two souls”: first the “factory”, the manufacturing plant, then “selling stores, especially in Asia”. Such is the strength on which Sergio Rossi can rely, while dealing with global economy deeply hit and affected by Coronavirus pandemic. Riccardo Sciutto, managing director of the company, pointed it out during the CEO Roundtable arranged by Fashion Magazine. “We have two souls, our manufacturing plants and our stores, especially in Asia. This is an asset, as I believe things are going to be tough for those companies without manufacturing: the supply industry gets far too long”.
Sergio Rossi’s strength
The advantage Sciutto refers to is the opportunity to control the supply industry. “It is beneficial to run a warehouse as much as a factory working almost exclusively for us – he remarked –. On the one hand, we could slow down when things started going south in Hong Kong. On the other hand, our production got back running at full speed as soon as distribution was demanding for it”.
The overall competitive scenario has changed, especially in the retail sector. “We shall have to choose our playground – continued the Chief Executive Officer –. We will no longer play everywhere, and we shall have to make some decisions. We bravely opened a delivery service in Milan. If we were not running a factory analysing sold goods data and providing three-week deliveries, we could not make it”.
The courage to innovate
In the meantime, the present crisis, triggered by the pandemic, is urging companies to take strength and courage to innovate. “We are used to a traditional structure: factory, orders, six-month deliveries. 120 stages for shoes, 24 hours for boots.
Yet, time got shorter now”. Sergio Rossi is striving hard to find, in compliance with tradition, some innovation to add to the process. For example, 3D design, a valuable tool “to produce a new model bypassing samples – he remarked –. Today is a great time to experiment, make mistakes and try again. The only budget we have enhanced, compared to last year, when we were compelled to cut the least profitable stores, is the one for innovation.
Technology helps indeed: it also helps us have human connections, moving from chilly fear to warm relations”. As a matter of fact, buyers are already one step ahead. “They get in touch with me on Instagram – commented Sciutto – and they ask me, who I am the Chief Executive Officer, for a different tint of a specific model. I therefore forward their request to my designers and I offer for sale the 3D rendering, not the sample. Then I also reply to their message on Instagram”.
A dream for made in Italy products
They asked him about his dream for made in Italy products. Sciutto replied by saying that he hopes for grouping solutions to make manufacturing companies stronger and more desirable.
“In Italy, some factories make 7 to 10 million euros in terms of overall revenues – he wrapped up –. We might need a hub composed of 4 to 5 companies, based in different areas and variously specializing. Entrepreneurs would act as business partners together with the grouping fund. In my opinion, it would be important to rely on larger and more appealing businesses now, considering that some brands can no longer relocate their shoe manufacturing to China”.