The larger goal, with regards to our segment, is to “sell our leather better”. While when considering this current period, we should get ourselves ready when “the positive signs” that we are seeing turn into something concrete that can mean a speedy recovery. These, among others, are the main topics that resulted from the interview of Filippo Francioni, president of the board of Sanlorenzo, a tannery located in Castelfranco di Sotto. Mr. Francioni recently became a member of UNIC – Italian Tanneries’ General Council.
How do you comment your entry in UNIC – Italian Tanneries’ General Council?
It’s a great honor for me. Sanlorenzo has always been a member of UNIC and due to our family business’ DNA, there is a strong and prolonged wish to remain associated at a local and national level.
Sell our leather better
What priorities are there for the Italian tanning segment, now and in the future?
We must sell our product better, by letting customers understand the value of leather as a material that is characterized by important and real qualities of sustainability and circularity. For too long others have pointed at the tanning segment and stated that its business still operate the same way they used to in the 1800s. It’s being said even if we were among the first to confront the matters of green sustainability and related projects.
A complex challenge…
For this very reason we require messages that explain, with clarity and efficacy, what leather really is to consumers. And in order to do so we, tanneries and connected businesses, must become a team, which is something that UNIC can help us with. It’s time to put a stop to those that talk about leather in a way that is the opposite from the truth.
Signs of recovery
How did you see the evolution of 2020, in relation to your company’s future?
2020 started off well, with many orders. Then, during the lockdown, everything inevitably slowed. But we managed to keep up the good work and are happy with the results achieved. We forecast that 2021 will be a good year, if there aren’t any more surprises.
What is this consideration based on?
We see positive signs of recovery from brands positioned on the most active markets now: China, Korea, United States. Europe, meanwhile, is suffering. We managed to maintain our business thanks to a solid commercial development that also allowed us, in the past years, to differentiate our client portfolio very much. In this context, we are also considering the investments made in the two showrooms we opened. The one in Santa Croce, Casa Lorenzo and the one in Paris, Chez Sanlorenzo. Here, we offer clients the chance to see our samples all year-round: it’s a different approach to sales.
Online channel and aquisitions
The luxury segment, to react to Covid-19, is making structural pushes for the online channel: what is your view of this?
I think that the online channel allowed luxury brands, but only some of them, to partially compensate the issue with stores being closed. But on some products, such as clothes, which is our expertise, e-commerce simply cannot substitute the experience of buying an item in store. For the real recovery, travel needs to go back to what it used to be, also because for example, Chinese customers are indeed buying more luxury items at home, and will increase their purchases with ones made abroad when travelling.
2020 further strengthened the M&A trend at all levels of the chain. Do you believe this will continue in 2021?
Yes. The die is cast. Large multinationals need to make purchases at all levels of the chain. First, they started with footwear manufacturers and leather goods’ makers. But now, in order to guarantee the quality level of their supplies, they will need to buy businesses that make materials as well. It’s a choice that allows luxury brand to control the product and, at the same time, puts them in the conditions to support their whole chain. I think we are simply looking at the start of what’s going to be a prolonged trend.
- The priorities of Italian leather: Interview with Fabrizio Nuti (UNIC)
- The next future of Italian leather: an interview with Luca Pretto (Pasubio)
- Fabrizio Masoni: tanneries need an evolved vision
- Chiara Mastrotto: this way tanneries can take on emergency