“It’s business risk. If an entrepreneur doesn’t take risk, he/she stagnates”. Italven, tannery located in Santa Croce sull’Arno and specialized in exotic leather, and headed by Massimo De Luca and his brothers, Maurizio and Andrea, acquires Petrali, a Milan-based company specialized in the handling of crocodile leather.
An operation closed in a challenging time, given what has been happening with the pandemic, commented with “We conducted this type of investment to maintain the know-how and capacities of Petrali. At the same time, to be able to offer a wider range of products to our clients”. The Milan-based laboratory was close to closing, thus ending the “parage” style of tanning. In other words: a specific and historic system to refine crocodile leather that is necessary to make it lucid.
“Who right now would make such an investment in the dark? Without knowing how the market will be in the future?”, asks Mr. De Luca. The answer is simple: “We didn’t want Petrali’s know-how to be lost.
Nowadays we can lose this type of knowledge, even more so in the reptile segment, where it’s difficult to pass own one’s knowledge”. Petrali is a company with 40 years of experience that was, sadly, about to close down. “Not because it was suffering economically, but because of the lack of generational change”.
Italven plans on restructuring the Milan-based laboratory. “We must do so to understand how to remain on the market”, comments. Mr. De Luca. “All previous criteria are no longer applicable today. In other times Petrali could manufacture between 500 and 1,000 handbags per month, which is a fairly solid number”. The acquired company’s HQ will remain in Milan, “where there is know-how and good base of macro and micro leather goods’ makers that bring business in the door”.
Waiting for the recovery
Italven has been in Santa Croce sull’Arno since 2006 and, between 2018 and 2019, it purchased two warehouses of the company located next to it, as it had been closed down. “If one day we will want to increase our production capacity we’ll be ready, but we now wait for the market to recover”, explains Massimo De Luca. “We budgeted a percentage of loss due to the situation, and we are respecting our forecast, for now – he says -. I think that we will continue on this trend until the end of the year. All segments tied to the fashion industry has suffered losses that will only likely recover in 2021”.
“Our market is tied to the movement of people at an international level – says Mr. De Luca -. Speaking of reptile leather, which we make, it’s hard to find someone that, wealthy as he or she may be, will be a handbag for 50 or 100,000 euro online. It doesn’t work. They want to see it in person, they want the satisfaction. People need to move around again. We will wait to see how the fairs will go, starting with Lineapelle – A New Point of View, and then the others”.
Image taken from italvenpelli.it
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