The Italy based fashion brand Calzedonia is one of the world’s leading manufacturers of socks and underwear and one of Hapag-Lloyd’s major customers in Italy - a customer Portrait.
“When we started, our key market was Italy,” says Marzia Gianesini, Logistic and Transport Manager of Calzedonia. From there, the company conquered the entire European market and has since then expanded worldwide with shops in Latin America (Brazil, Colombia, Mexico, Chile), in the United States and in China. “In Europe we see Russia as one of our most important growth markets, followed by Spain, Germany and France. The US is extremely important as well. We are mainly expanding at the East Coast. Another growing market for us is China where we are about to open 20 new shops in 2018,” says Gianesini.
Calzedonia was founded in 1986. The group is focused on manufacturing socks, underwear and swimwear for women, men and kids. The key brands are Calzedonia, Intimissimi and Tezenis (they stand for 90 per cent of the turnover), but also Falconeri, Signorvino and Atelier Emé. Together they are present in close to 50 countries worldwide with more than 32,000 employees – among them 92 per cent women.
Speed is key
Talking about logistics in fashion a key element is speed. “If you want to meet customer needs in fashion, you need to be extremely fast. Especially when it comes to our flash products. That’s why logistics are key for us and why we need highly professional shipping lines,” explains Gianesini. Besides speed Calzedonia requires guaranteed capacity, high frequency, reliable schedules and short transit times. And it needs to be cost efficient as the product has a relatively small margin. And another aspect is of importance – Gianesini recalls when the Korean shipping line Hanjin went bankrupt: “At that time we had several containers on their ships and every day we looked on Vesselfinder and realized that the ships didn’t move at all. This was a devastating experience as our shops were waiting for their products. Since then we also look on the financial stability of our carriers.”
Currently Calzedonia transports cargo with Hapag-Lloyd from China, Sri Lanka, India and Bangladesh to Europe. “When anything goes wrong during the transport we need immediate support. That’s why we want to talk to local professionals and not to call-centers somewhere in Asia. Actually Hapag-Lloyd is pretty good in customer care since the merger with UASC.”
Today the global expansion of Calzedonia seems unstoppable. Yearly revenues above two billion Euros make them one of the most successful fashion brands in Europe. And wherever you see a Calzedonia or Intimissimi shop around the world you can almost be sure that the bras, the underwear or the socks were brought by Hapag-Lloyd.