According to Brunello Cucinelli, Italy’s manufacturing system has a problem: factory workers are paid too little. Of course, the welfare state allowed companies, during the pandemic years, to avoid mass layoffs. But now he says that Italian entrepreneurs need to invest in human capital: “If a factory worker earns 1,700 euro a month rather than 1,200 – he says to MFF – its life may change and how much does that really impact the company? 1% at most”. And he can say it from a certain position, given that his fashion group continues to grow: +29.1% in 2022.
When factory workers are paid too little
The same concept is true for young workers: “How much would it cost companies that have a profit margin of 25% – continues the entrepreneur (in photo from the ImagoEconomica archive) – to give higher salaries to young workers? Very little. And it’s not that in doing so the same companies may become less competitive”. Cucinelli points out that it’s the quality of the work that allowed the Italian fashion system to resist the impacts of Covid so well.
“We exited the pandemic showing the importance of not laying off people – he says -. Our social environment held, thanks to welfare, and the result is that our GDP grew by 3.9%, compared to Germany’s 3.2%. We need to give more value to work itself”. All work, not just the highly qualified or hard-to-find types: “the problem is that few entrepreneurs – he adds -, agree to take a hit in their wallet to pay those considered unskilled a little bit more”.
As reported by Il Corriere della Sera, Brunello Cucinelli’s board approved (on January 9th) “the best financial results ever recorded”. Net revenue reached 919.5 million (29.1% at current exchange rates, on yearly basis), thanks to the push by the Americas (+40.5%), Asia (+28.1%) and Europe (+20.8%). The domestic market also performed well, reaching 102.6 million in sales (up 22% on the previous year) and accounting for 11.1% of the total revenue.