Bruno Magli: a difficult recovery
Bruno Magli is struggling in its recovery efforts. According to Da Vinci Invest AG, which bought the historic Italian shoemaker last January, the brand is currently going through a transition period. The Swiss asset management company has clearly been faced with a critical situation. In recent months, it has closed stores on the prestigious Via Montenapoleone in Milan and at Fiumicino Airport in Rome, with the dismissal of 9 employees on top of that.
“As regards Rome, where a new store opening was scheduled but then subsequently cancelled, that decision was made by the previous management," said Hendrik Klein, the owner of Da Vinci Invest AG, which recently acquired the Bologna-based company, appointing Manfred Ebensberger CEO at the time of the purchase.
Stores to remain open include one in Venice, which unions warn is in danger of being closed, as well as three Bruno Magli outlet stores in Italy.
"Da Vinci Invest entered into negotiations with Bruno Magli at the last minute. The purchase took a month and a half to go through. When the purchase was concluded, the new owners discovered a more complicated situation than what they had anticipated, and suddenly there was a slowdown. But they promised a significant recovery plan," said a union source.
According to other sources, the payment of wages has been delayed and production has been reduced, putting the delivery of the upcoming winter collection in danger.
“There is absolutely no risk for the winter collection,” denies Hendrik Klein. "Every week, deliveries are made in the United States and Japan, our two biggest markets. We have been forced to cancel some very large orders because we have a small production capacity," he says.
"We want to focus on these two markets and on our existing customers, offering an affordable, but high quality luxury product. The idea is to return to Bruno Magli’s roots as a benchmark for excellence in shoemaking. Because of that, we plan to make a part of production in-house in Bologna within next two years," says the CEO.
In 2011, the company founded in Bologna in 1936 went through heavy restructuring, with 90 positions ultimately eliminated, production outsourced and business transferred to Milan.
The new recovery plan involves concentrating the company’s primary business activity in Bologna and reducing the Milan office. With that in mind, the brand plans to transfer the current headquarters in Bologna from Villa Zarri to Castel Maggiore on the outskirts of the city.
Bruno Magli employs 75 people in Italy and generates 35 million euros in profits.
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