Lola Casademunt dreams big and maps out strategic plan to triple sales within three years
Maite Gassó, daughter of Lola Casademunt and creative director of the jewelry company that her mother founded in 1981, is described as a dreamer. Today, the businesswoman runs the company alongside Fernando Espona, who serves as president, and Paco Sánchez, general manager since February 2020. Sánchez's office overlooks a neon sign bearing the slogan "Let's make things happen". This mantra has enabled the Cardedeu (Barcelona) based company to triple its sales in the last two years and it plans to do so again in the next three years.
"We closed 2020 with 8.6 million euros in turnover and we are going to close 2022 with 27 million euros in turnover, 2 million above the initial forecasts. In January 2023 we will start a new strategic plan that will conclude in December 2025 and, by then, we aim to triple turnover again," Sanchez told FashionNetwork.com.
"Thinking in the long term and acting in the short term" is another of the key pillars of Lola Casademunt's corporate philosophy. The company is aiming to generate 45 million euros in turnover by 2023.
"We don't know what the external factors will be, but we do know that this figure will become a reality. Our business plan, which is very well defined, will allow us to achieve these objectives," he stressed.
The brand's development strategy has international expansion as its main focus. The company began operating in foreign markets in 2021, but is already present in 14 countries and more than 1,300 multi-brand points of sale. Although its footprint is, for the time being, stronger in Europe, its presence in Latin America is expected to grow. A few months ago, the company closed its first agreement with El Palacio de Hierro to open four stores this year.
"We are going to sign a new agreement, a five-year project to expand in Mexico: we also want to retail in Liverpool and in high street stores," Sánchez said. Colombia, Panama and Chile are the other markets in the region in which Lola Casademunt is looking to expand together with local partners.
In the Middle East, the company is currently finalizing an agreement with a master franchisee in Saudi Arabia and has Dubai on its radar as well. As for Europe, the company will open its first stores in Portugal and Andorra in February 2023, and is also eyeing the Italian market.
"We also have a long way to go in terms of retailing in multi-brands: for example, we are not yet present in Germany, Poland or Greece," said the general manager.
Lola Casademunt also has its sights set on the U.S., starting with Miami. "We are in no hurry to launch in the United States, but we will be looking for premises to open a store in Miami between the end of 2024 and the beginning of 2025. Miami would be a great option as a location to present our collections abroad," said Sanchez.
The brand already holds its fashion show at the 080 Barcelona Fashion and MBFW Madrid events, although it is planning to make the leap to other international events such as the aforementioned Miami and Milan fashion weeks.
Increased local production and new offices
Lola Casademunt is aiming to have all of its production labeled as sustainable by 2025. This year, this figure will stand at 40%. This sustainability is partly due to local production, which the company has been promoting in recent years.
"We already manufacture 30% of our products in Spain, Portugal and Morocco," said Sanchez, who also sees this production approach as a way to "revive workshops and rebuild the Catalan and Spanish textile industry".
The company's commitment to being local is also reflected in its headquarters, which are still located in Cardedeu, the town where it was founded 41 years ago. With a surface area of 3,200 square meters, the building has been recently refurbished. It has three floors and, in addition to offices, includes a model store and a showroom for international buyers.
The company plans to expand its facilities in the second half of 2024 to accompany its growth: a new building will be built next to the current one, which will serve as a creative center.
Lola Casademunt employs 170 people and operates 15 company-owned stores, four franchises, 27 corners in El Corte Inglés and four in El Palacio de Hierro. Its retail network includes 1,300 multi-brand points of sale internationally and 800 in Spain. Before the end of the year, it will launch four new stores and another three spaces in El Corte Inglés.
"Our expansion plan is not based on having no limits or impressive figures. Our expansion and growth are self-financed. Expansion requires a lot of money, so we finance it with the equity we have in our pockets. We don't go into debt for it or seek funding," concluded Sánchez, who joined the company with the aim of "making things happen" shortly before the pandemic and after more than three decades working at Pronovias.
Copyright © 2023 FashionNetwork.com All rights reserved.