Burberry buys key Italian leathergoods supplier from CF&P
Burberry has announced a “strategic investment” in leathergoods as the company continues to move from being focused mainly on apparel to having a big - and growing - accessories business.
The luxury firm said it has entered into an agreement to acquire a luxury leathergoods business from longstanding Italian partner CF&P, which is based in based in Scandicci, Italy.
CF&P employees, “including the team of expert craftsmen who have worked closely with Burberry for more than a decade, will transfer to the company on completion of the transaction, expected later this year.” Terms of the deal weren’t disclosed.
The Italian company’s operations will stay at their current location while some parts of CF&P not included in the transaction will continue to operate as separate entities under the CF&P name, but at a different site.
Burberry CEO Marco Gobbetti, who is clearly determined to drive change at the firm, said: “This acquisition is a major milestone for us and a statement of our ambition in this strategically important category. It will create a centre of excellence for Burberry’s leathergoods, covering all activities from prototyping, product innovation, engineering and the coordination of production. This will give us greater control over quality, cost, delivery and sustainability of our leathergoods.”
More and more luxury labels have moved to take control of key suppliers in recent years, with Chanel perhaps the highest profile among these. Meanwhile others - such as Hermès - have long prospered on the back of a business model that sees them owning the companies responsible for supplying the luxury materials they use, and directly employing the craftspeople who are key to their products.
In this respect, the Burberry move is unsurprising, although direct control of every single aspect of the Burberry business isn’t the end goal. The deal also comes after the company farmed out its beauty operations to global giant Coty as it conceded that the American fragrances, skincare and cosmetics specialist is better positioned to maximise the opportunities and revenue out there in the beauty space than Burberry itself is.
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