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Marcolin Group, one of the leading global groups in the eyewear sector, announced the appointment of Antonio Jové as Head of the EMEA area
According to Marcolin, Jové, has already played an active role in the Group for the last 20 years, will now be in charge of the business and sales in the European, Middle Eastern and African markets in his new position, and will coordinate the commercial network already in place to achieve Marcolin Group’s objectives.
VisionPlus discussed his new roles and his outlook over the Middle East markets. Let’s see what he has to say.
VisionPlus (VP): What do you think differentiates the Middle Eastern market the most? Is it the different choices, fashion or the spending capacity?
Antonio Jové (AJ): To be honest, it has only been three months for me since I was appointed in this position. However, I can share my personal opinion with you from the visits that I made. The kind of product supply in the Middle East in terms of luxury segment is more than what we had in Europe.
The brands here are positioned differently and the price points are different. I saw 27 shops in 4 days in my last visit into the big malls. The difference that I noticed was also in the way shops were decorated. The products had been displayed so nicely even by the opticians. This is helpful for us as we are specialist in luxury segment.
Along with luxury, we see that there is also consumer who is willing to spend. Hence, there is a position for all the brands.
VP: With souk and noon.com in the new success and retail as debacle. Do you think online trade is overpowering retail?
AJ: Yes, it’s true that online business is growing day by day but as per my experience in Europe the rich product it is important to touch before buying. It is difficult for expensive and luxury segment, to be brought online.
Sunglasses is something to need to try physically and then you can make your purchase. While we are aware of such marketplaces, we do not participate or engage with them as they do not stand as same value as our brands.
VP: What do you think about luxury online retail?
AJ: Luxury Online Retail – At this stage we are closely working with the retail. Product experience is very important from a brand’s perspective.
For our business it is very important to try the product. We need to give our customers the experience of touch, try and compare before they buy the product.
VP: Any key announcements coming from Marcolin in 2018…
AJ: Marcolin in this year are working in a extremely tough market which is flat. We are working in a flat market. We are losing 1 percent or growing 1 percent. There are lot of suppliers, brands, big movements with retailers. For that reason Marcolin wants to continue with the strategy that we began years ago. Our goal is to achieve the No 2 in the world. We grow this year in comparison to last year like 7 percent and speaking about our area EMEA we grow at 14 percent. We want to continue in our organization and approach our market in modern and professional way and we are waiting for 2018, more or less the same results in terms of percentage but most importantly for us is to be present in the market with the organization that we are putting in place the last gear. That our expectation for 2018. If we compare ourselves with the competition, we are in a very good position not only in the top line but also in the bottom line.
VP: In the EMEA markets, which is a better revenue generator and why – sunglasses or spectacles? What is your take on luxury and fashion, which generates more revenue?
AJ: In the fashion segment, the sunglasses generate 65 percent of the revenue as compared to the spectacles. When it comes to luxury segment in the EMEA region, luxury generates 60 percent of the revenue. But it is more or less the same.
VP: Since you will be now heading the Middle East for Business And Sales, do you mean to implement things differently on the management front to highlight Marcolin’s presence in the region?
AJ: The most important thing is to have good knowledge of managing branch of Marcolin because we started by managing a branch in Spain 20 years ago. For that reason we can help our big branch in the Middle East with the way that we are managing our branches, how we move with our relation with people in Italy. All this kind of help will help will apply in our Middle East branch.
Also speaking about moving from our distribution model to having our own presence, I would say that we have more control over the market and we are able to grow with our similar organization that we have in our branches. We are managing branches at the same level of the Middle East branch. For eg Spain and also we are managing branches like France which generates a business of 50 million Euros. For that reason we control, organize the market, have the right organization to achieve all distribution that we want to achieve.
VP: You have worked with Marcolin for a several years now, how is this shift going to be like? Can you tell us something about your new roles as you will be coordinating with the existing commercial networks?
AJ: We have the world divided in 3 big areas viz, America, EMEA & APAC. In the EMEA region we have 3 different kinds of business. We have 7 branches, 2 joint-ventures and 44 distributors. We speak about own branches. We put in place our organisation to speak the same language. We strive to have the same organization model in all the branches. We change more or less 50 percent of the staff of these branches. We are today talking the same language in terms of figures, field,branch agents, etc. This is our 65 percent turn over in EMEA. We have 2 JVs one in EMEA and other in Russia and we try to follow the same language that we have in other branches. And with distributors where we want to open new branches in the next few years and we are looking for most interesting markets to start thinking to put in place new branches.
And I, personally, we need to start thinking about special products and focus on customization according to the need of the customers.
VP: Which of the three regions, Europe, the Middle East and Africa has more potential?
AJ: The future potential for both Africa and the Middle East looks promising. For the European region, we are in a very good position there.
VP: How do you plan to avoid clashes between Marcolin and Thelios? Thelios will have only LVMH brands. Do you foresee any other clashes?
AJ: You know we try to have brands that do not overlap but sometimes it is difficult to manage. We try manage it brand ambassadors. So all these brands will be managed with different commercial teams so there is no clash.
Only the distributors will be the same, say more like 80 percent. We will need to choose right distributors. But we will have separate commercial policies that assure right distribution.