Italian leather goods label Furla is booming. The company closed FY 2018 with a turnover of 513 million euros (approximately 579 million US dollars or 440 million pounds) and is seeking to diversify its portfolio by launching a sneaker collection.
Founded in Bologna in 1927 by the Furlanetto family, the fashion house is currently one of the most prominent players in the luxury leather goods market. Its recent financial results are indicative of the company’s rise: turnover doubled over the past four fiscal years, with an average growth of 5.2 percent (at a constant currency exchange rate) or 2.8 percent (at current exchange rates).
“These results are very satisfying considering the rough period the international market is going through”, said Furla’s CEO Alberto Camerlengo to FashionUnited. “I believe that the reason for our continued growth as an independent company is based on a winning mix of key assets: our staff, our extensive distribution network which continues to develop and our constant research about the collections, their quality and design”. Speaking of Furla’s staff, the company is developing a project titled “Furla for You”, focused on the well-being and needs of the employees, from the education of their children to their spare time.
Asia: flagship market
Asia-Pacific is Furla’s most promising market, having grown 18.2 percent in 2018. The region represents no less than 26 percent of the company’s total revenue, followed by the United States, which grew by 13,2 percent, accounting for 8 percent of the total revenue. But Japan remains Furla’s number one market, with 22 percent of total sales -- a 3.6 percent increase from 2017. Last but not least, Furla maintains its market share in the EMEA region, which represents 44 percent of the company’s global turnover.
Distribution is Furla’s main asset. The company is currently present in 98 countries thanks to a total of 480 retail spaces (285 owned stores, 163 franchised stores and 42 wholesale retail clients). 70 percent of Furla’s revenue in 2018 came from its own shops, usually located on the most prestigious international shopping streets.
Travel retail, a highly dynamic sales sector, grew by 16.2 percent in 2018, representing 7.3 percent of the group’s turnover thanks to 293 points of sale, including stores, corners and shop-in-shops in 64 countries. Lastly, the Italian company is seeing the results of its e-commerce improve following a series of investments. The latest results point to a 45.7 percent increase in revenue compared to 2017, at constant exchange rates.
Furla to launch sneakers
Best known for its women’s accessories and leather goods, Furla has been expanding its product offering in recent years by launching men’s collections, women’s shoes, watches and eyewear. Since February, it is also venturing into the sneaker market. Launched on Milan Fashion Week, the new sneakers are off to an excellent start. “We sold more than 200 pairs of sneakers in the first week in Milan alone, thanks to pop-in and pop-up stores. Some styles are completely sold out”, said Camerlengo. “The sneakers represented 10 percent of our total sales during this period in Milan, a truly fantastic result”.
After this preview in Milan, the sneakers will be launched globally later this month. “Sneakers are a strong trend in the footwear market and we felt it was important to respond to our clients’ needs by expanding our product offer”, explains the CEO.
As for the rumors of an imminent IPO, Alberto Camerlengo gets straight to the point: “There isn’t any intention to take the company public in the near future”.
This article was originally written in French by FashionUnited FR editor Céline Vautard. Translated by Marjorie van Elven.
Photos : Furla’s Hong Kong store, new SS19 collection, handbag and sneakers. Courtesy of Furla.