MILAN — Italian leading perfume manufacturer ICR, or Industrie Cosmetiche Riunite, lifted the veil on its expanded plant on Thursday morning. Located in Lodi, one hour’s drive from Milan, the factory increased its 452,084-square-foot production and logistic surface by an additional 107,639-square-foot area.
Italian Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni attended the inauguration ceremony of the new hub, following the steps of his predecessor Matteo Renzi, who joined ICR chairman and president Roberto Martone in laying the symbolic “first stone” last year.
“Having institutions by our side is surely an important acknowledgement,” said Martone about Gentiloni’s presence. “It’s a significant sign of attention they’re giving to an Italian family business, which is performing well. So [Gentiloni’s presence] makes us feel glad and really proud.”
Martone defined the expansion as the family’s “positive vision of the future for the company,” explaining that the implementation of new areas had a twofold goal. “On one hand, to anticipate some investments for our clients and for their future development,” said Martone. On the other, the company intends to seek and go after new production and logistic projects, “since we have the productive capacity to land new contracts also.”
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Martone said the expansion will boost the company’s capacity, as 70 percent of the new area will be dedicated to that effort. According to the executive, this will help ICR to break the milestone of 100 million pieces manufactured per year within two years. ICR currently makes 85 million to 90 million pieces a year.
The initial investment of over 10 million euros in creating the new facility reached the final amount of 13 million euros over the last 12 months, as the company decided to also renovate some of the former production machinery.
The revamp of the existing area related to the rationalization and automation of the part dedicated to alcoholic perfumery production, along with the creation of a new production area for alcohol-free perfumery, a warehouse, a new parking lot and a heliport, which will be at the disposal of the Lodi Hospital and the plant’s neighboring area to facilitate rapid response in emergencies.
In addition, the expansion enabled the company to double the surface of its core research and development laboratory.
Named ICR Lab, a new division for the creation and development of quality products has been added as “a showroom, where the client can access and create a completely new product, picking everything from the packaging to the bottles, from the embellishments to the cases, in addition to the formulas,” said Martone.
Also new, the Atelier Produttivo, or Production Atelier, showcases services to create small-batch, deeply researched and customized scents. “Now even big clients have launched niche, prestige lines and are paying attention to customization,” noted Martone, underscoring the company’s willingness to oversee this increasingly relevant market division.
Martone also highlighted the key role sustainability played in designing the expansion. The implementation of innovative technologies, energy-saving methods and materials with low environmental impact were at the core of the project, along with the quality, comfort and safety of the indoor space.
As reported, at the end of 2015, ICR hired 205 workers for the new facility. Martone confirmed the number, excluding any additional hiring at the moment.
Currently counting 500 direct employees and 100 indirect ones, ICR manufactures perfumes for a range of labels, including Salvatore Ferragamo, Bulgari, Dsquared2, Blumarine, Trussardi, Gianfranco Ferré, Collistar and Asprey, among others.