Translated by
Nicola Mira
Jul 6, 2016
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Zilli announces job-protection plan and revised strategy

Translated by
Nicola Mira
Jul 6, 2016

The Zilli luxury fashion label has announced a job-protection plan regarding 36 jobs. Since autumn 2014, the label has experienced a strong decrease in sales (-40%) in CIS countries, notably in Russia, Kazakhstan, Belarus and Azerbaijan. This has dragged its revenue down by 14% last year, to €61.7 million. The label's Lyon-based workshops will be significantly affected by the new plan.

The company, whose majority shareholder is the Schimel family, has noted in a press release its vulnerability within a troubled business environment, stating that "CIS countries, accounting for half of the company's revenue, have been affected by geopolitical events, which have brought about a major change in the purchasing behaviour of [Zilli's] long-standing Russian-speaking clients."

Zilli also mentioned the decrease in Paris visitor numbers. "The Paris flagship store, which by itself generated nearly 20% of the label's revenue, experienced a downturn due to the sustained fall in luxury tourism in France after the terrorist attacks (attendance was down 50% since November 2015)."
The luxury label has announced a series of new initiatives to counterbalance this troubled situation. Last May Zilli signed a distribution contract with a new partner, the Mercury group, covering Moscow and the whole of Russia.

Travel retail is also at the heart of Zilli's new strategy: a contract has been signed for a new store, set to open at Nice airport in autumn 2017, while Zilli is waiting for the confirmation of a new location within Abu Dhabi's airport.

Like its competitors, Zilli is also working on an e-commerce project which is expected to become operational during 2017.

Finally, next autumn the label will introduce its new French partner for the eyewear line, with a new, more competitive price positioning.

Zilli was created in 1965 and it is still run by its founder Alain Schimel. It was the first luxury menswear brand to be awarded the 'Living Heritage Company' label in the haute couture category, for its craftsmanship in working with leather and fur.

Zilli has a total of 340 employees worldwide, of whom 180 are based in France (81 are engaged in manufacturing in the Lyon workshops) and 100 in Italy. The label is present in 23 countries through a network of 64 branded stores, plus approximately 50 multi-brand stores.

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