Interview

Optical Segment: The impact of Luxury

Presente no Brasil desde Located in Brazil since 1999, Safilo Group, which has the overall billing of - 1.15 billion per year, brought to the country brands like Dior, Gucci, Max Mara, Carrera and Safilo. Over the next years, the number of brands traded by the company has increased significantly. At the moment, it exceeds 30. "Brazilians are very demanding and search for high quality and beautiful glasses plus the international fashion trends", analyzes Gabriel Filho, the CEO of Safilo in Brazil. During an exclusive interview to Top Team, the executive states that Brazil has great potential and there will be no changes in strategies, even after being taken over by Halland. At the moment Safilo supports a commercial structure formed by five companies in Brazil, which act regionally as consultants or business managers. "By having such format, adopted since 2003, we could deal with all our clients´ collections simultaneously, which led to a more organized sales planning to the retailer and the increase in market share by minor brands. As a result, we could double the company", says the executive. Check below the main parts of the interview:

Top Team: Does Brazil have great potential in the optical market or in the luxury segment?
Renis Gabriel Filho: Its potential is huge and still little explored. The world crisis which took place in 2008 and that still has brought some consequences motivated the rise of a new pattern of consumption, less aggressive, though more luxurious.

Top Team: Has this new pattern fitted the Brazilians´ profile?
Renis Gabriel Filho: Absolutely. I believe such pattern fits the Brazilians style perfectly well, who particularly like to consume luxury, even if it is paid by credit card or postdated checks in ten times. The government efforts to increase the average income of the Brazilian people has benefitted C and D classes, as well as slightly increased B and A classes, which means successful cases for the luxury market in Brazil.

Top Team: How do you evaluate the new players coming into the market?
Renis Gabriel Filho: It is definitely very positive, for it makes the market more professional. As major optical centers come into the market, this sector becomes stronger and everyone reaps the benefits.

Top Team: After being acquired by Halland, has Safilo adopted a new strategy?
Renis Gabriel Filho: The strategy is the same. Halland is the major stockholder in the group, but our line hasn´t undergone any change.

Top Team: What is Brazil´s position in the luxury market in relation to the other countries in Latin America?
Renis Gabriel Filho: We are fine. We have neighbors who are historically more used to selling luxury items, like Argentina and Mexico, but who suffers the consequences of having committed some mistakes in the past. Brazil, on the other hand, has been at the leading edge and has become a powerful nation. Obviously the taxes applied here are still a barrier to be broken through. However, with well-structured operations, it is possible to be competitive in Brazil and successful just by selling luxury in the country.

Top Team: To wrap up, what are the next challenges for Safilo in Brazil?
Renis Gabriel Filho: Safilo is a leading company and it has looked up to the Brazilian market. Our operation here represents more than 60% of sales in Latin America, and we aim to have it doubled by 2013. We are absolutely sure that we can contribute to such accomplishment.

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