The strategy of the company, which is meeting with trade unions today, is aimed at finding a balance between its workforce and its production volume, which significantly dropped over the past few years, a Brioni spokesman said.
According to market sources, about 400 jobs might be cut in the upcoming months. Brioni in agreement with the unions put in place a voluntary mobility procedure at the end of last year.
“It’s about making the business sustainable,” the spokesman explained. “The imbalance between the headcount and number of pieces produced by the company was already evident in 2012, when Kering acquired it.”
The spokesman noted that following the economic crisis, customers’ needs changed and they focused more on different fashion segments, such as casualwear and sportswear.
As WWD reported in February, a Milan-based analyst said revenues at Brioni last year dropped by 20 million euros, or $22.2 million at average exchange rates, to 190 million euros, or $211 million, attributable to the struggles at the wholesale level, and claimed the firm was operating at a loss with negative earnings before interest and taxes.
Additional market sources listed the hiking wholesale prices, the diminished spending power of Russian customers, along with wrong investments in human resources, as the main causes of Brioni’s difficulties.
Brioni, which did not renew its working collaboration with creative director Brendan Mullane in February, tapped Bottega Veneta executive Gianluca Flore as its new chief executive officer in fall 2014. Flore succeeded Francesco Pesci, who guided the company for almost 15 years.
In 2010, the company named Alessandro Dell’Acqua creative director of Brioni’s women’s division, which was shut down in 2011.