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Salvatore Ferragamo Opens Advanced Atelier; Evaluates Investment Plans

As luxury brands like Gucci and Jimmy Choo adopt no fur policies and embrace sustainable alternatives, Italian luxury shoe brand Salvatore Ferragamo announced a new investment to help clean up and advance its production process.

The company announced last week the opening of a new prototyping and design lab in Florence, Italy. Through the workshop, Ferragamo aims to promote its artisanal expertise with advanced technologies that maintain quality and increase efficiency in its leather and footwear production process.

The iconic footwear company needs a momentum boost. On Friday, Salvatore Ferragamo’s shares dropped 6.3% to 21.15 euros ($24.98) on the Milan Bourse following a warning on medium-term targets.

In a statement, the company’s board of directors said it is evaluating its development plans and “significant IT and marketing investments” in order to re-launch the brand and to optimize the company’s commercial, production and logistics processes. The board said it could no longer confirm the medium-term targets it laid out in February 2017 and that they would be more “difficult to achieve.”

The profit warning follows a flat nine months report that saw revenue decline 0.9% to one million euros. Footwear posted a 1.2% decrease from the same period one year prior.

Ferragamo said the new atelier, equipped with energy and emission reducing technology and powered by a new solar power system, will become a hub for materials research and the development of styles that meet market demand. Twenty additional artisans will join the current team of leather workers in the new workshop.

Salvatore Ferragamo

“Not only does this project celebrate Ferragamo’s leather crafting know-how, but it will also provide additional opportunities for the development of new products, as it enables us to test innovative materials and improve the quality and efficiency of various development processes,” Eraldo Poletto, Salvatore Ferragamo Group CEO, said in a press release.

The 12,920-square-foot facility is part of Salvatore Ferragamo’s redevelopment project. The company will open a new automated logistics hub in 2018 designed to meet the standards for LEED Platinum certification.