Moreschi, the Italian leather goods company best known for its high-end shoes, is eyeing further growth in the Middle East region.
The Middle East accounts for around 15% of its sales and its products have been on sale here for at least 35 years. Yet, Francesco Moreschi, who comes from the third generation of the family company, sees potential to do more.
“I’m very impressed with the market, impressed with the city, I see a lot of potential and I think it’s very common to other situations that we have around the world. It’s a good place to do business and I think the potential is very big,” he tells CEO Middle East.
Moreschi is known for being 100% made in Italy, in the company’s own facilities in the Vigevano region of Italy.
As Francesco Moreschi explains, every single step involved in making the shoe is under the company’s direct control. It sources high grade raw materials and only very soft leather. Moreschi describes wearing the company’s shoes as, “an experience”.
“The customer can wear our shoes, even brand new, all day long, without any problem,” Moreschi explains.
The company recruits from the local area, one historically renowned for shoemaking, and hires are trained up for a period of up to two years. The company’s artisans keep a close on every step in the process of making the shoe.
Raw materials are sourced from all over the world, depending on which material we are taking about, but the final tanning process is mostly done in Italy. A dedicated team visits the tanneries and selects the leather used.
Moreschi even has a special area in its facility where the leather used for the shoes’ soles are given at least six months to mature.
The Middle Eastern customer base loves luxury products and a large part of the region’s appeal for Moreschi is its consistency. “Sales have been stable for us,” Francesco Moreschi explains. “They really appreciate the product and it’s really been very good for us. The total Middle East is around 15% of the business, but we would like to reach more.”
As a premium brand, the company’s best form of marketing is still word of mouth, although it does dabble with traditional advertising, social media and sponsored editorial content. The company has taken a very cautious approach to online sales.
“We started online just last year and little by little we are going there, finding our way online without conflicting with anybody,” Francesco Moreschi explains.
The company sells online only through its own web site and online pricing is exactly the same as retail. “It must be,” Moreschi asserts.
Third party sites have approached it to discuss officially listing its products, but the answer has been no. “We don’t work with them, we have requests, but we don’t work with them because it’s not good if you have a reputation for quality. People pay for quality.” he says.
Established in 1946, Moreschi has been run by family members since its inception and the third generation, Francesco and his two brothers, is now involved. The brothers’ father, GianBeppe, is president.
For Moreschi, the question of how the company might be run in the future is an open one. “Anything can happen,” he says. “When you grow globally, you might need other ideas to help you.”
Moreschi has its USP, but it’s in a competitive market and many have tried to copy it, according to Moreschi. So has it ever been tempted to outsource to the Far East to keep costs down? “Come on!” Moreschi exclaims. “They copy us, but they are far away, believe me! If they keep copying, that means we are successful.”
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