Give us an outline of Safilo’s operations.
Safilo Group began in Italy in 1878 with the primary manufacturing manufacturing facility for glasses and optical frames. In the present day, we’re one of many main gamers within the design, manufacture and distribution of sun shades, optical frames and sports activities eyewear.
Our model portfolio consists of iconic eyewear manufacturers equivalent to Carrera, Polaroid, Smith owned by Safilo, in addition to licensed manufacturers equivalent to BOSS, Carolina Herrera, David Beckham, Dsquared2, Isabel Marant, Jimmy Choo, Kate Spade New York, Levi’s, Marc Jacobs, Missoni, Moschino, Tommy Hilfiger and Underneath Armour.
Safilo has been current on this area with its manufacturers for many years, working with native companions and retailers. In 2014, we positioned our Center East enterprise heart in Dubai and opened a completely owned subsidiary with a state-of-the-art showroom to be near our prospects within the area and provide the complete vary of the most recent collections.
Final 12 months was a robust 12 months for us within the area not solely by way of numbers (high line and end result exceeded 2019) but additionally by way of relationships and tasks. For instance, we launched a Carrera particular version for Dubai and the Jimmy Choo capsule assortment for the Center East; We additionally launched a particular collaboration with Carrera because the official eyewear associate of the 2022 1000Miglia race within the United Arab Emirates.
Has your method to enterprise modified over the previous twenty years of working in Dubai?
It has been 22 years since I arrived in Dubai. It might sound cliche, however my method has at all times been to work as a associate with our purchasers. Nevertheless, establishing long-term alliances is just not so apparent, and having the ability to handle relationships for 15-20 years requires way more than simply “doing enterprise”. It takes mutual respect and keenness to construct the enterprise collectively. For me, the final word achievement is definitely wanting again and seeing the end result of such a journey, each professionally and personally.
How has the eyewear distribution mannequin advanced and the place is it headed?
The eyewear business is fairly bizarre. We make two classes: sun shades and optical frames. They give the impression of being virtually the identical, however they’re very totally different. Sun shades will not be solely useful to guard from the solar, they’re additionally trend equipment pushed by trend tendencies, whereas optical frames are clearly extra useful, involving extra medical/technical companies (equivalent to eye testing and lens prescription, for instance). Within the early years on this area, I bear in mind it was very centered on novelties and large manufacturers, as 80% of the market was pushed by sun shades that mirrored the tendencies seen within the trend business.
New and large names are nonetheless crucial within the sun shades class. Nevertheless, over the previous few years, optical frames have been the class driving progress. Consideration to eye well being and a typically wider acceptance of optical frames are actually giving a robust increase to this class.
In the present day, this area is actually a world chief by way of its retail provide. We have now among the many most lovely optical shops on this planet due to the investments of native retail teams. All main eyewear and lens producers now have a direct presence in Dubai with native workplaces and groups. It’s clear that this has raised the bar for your complete business, with the buyer benefiting from it.
Customers, particularly the youthful technology, at the moment are transferring in direction of mid-priced merchandise. In the present day, it’s important to have a balanced providing, and Safilo does this with manufacturers equivalent to Tommy Hilfiger, Carrera, Levi’s and Underneath Armour, to call a number of.
Inform us concerning the Carrera assortment that was lately created for Dubai.
The Carrera Particular Version for Dubai is an important venture for me – it honors town and other people of Dubai. It’s a venture that we’re very proud and honored to have launched in partnership with Dubai Tourism. It is a particular version assortment that includes one in all our iconic types, the Safari 65, with Carrera for Dubai co-branding on the lens and temple.
What position will e-commerce play within the Safilo mannequin?
Once we discuss on-line gross sales, we primarily imply sun shades (though the web marketplace for optical glasses is rising). The query is just not “if” however “how” to evolve the retail proposition whereas integrating digital instruments. I consider shoppers will proceed to pay a premium if the bodily retail providing stays related and offers a useful service proposition. We have to evolve with an omnichannel method – digital instruments will help us enhance our companies, enabling us to work synergistically with our prospects and shoppers all over the world, each on-line and offline.
What are the important thing targets you will have set for this 12 months?
In 2022, we purpose to ship one other robust 12 months, specializing in our Carrera and Polaroid assortment, our core licenses, in addition to the launch of 4 new manufacturers (Carolina Herrera, Underneath Armour, Dsquared2, Chiara Ferragni Assortment). We are going to proceed to develop our optical choices, providing an assortment in step with our prospects’ wants. The important thing goal is to assist our companions with a transparent calendar of activations for our manufacturers within the area, in addition to deal with service and after-sales ranges. In 2022, we are going to enhance focus and funding on our new on-line B2B platform.