Italian furniture makers in offshore ventures

18 June 2005

Italian furniture producers Nicoletti now own their facility in China and Italian compatriots Natuzzi plan to open their first tannery in South America next year. Nicoletti had 50% ownership of the factory with a Chinese furniture company when it opened last July, but Nicoletti bought the 80,000 square foot facility outright from their Asian partner in February. Nicoletti have turned to China to mine new areas of growth and to reap competitive advantages. Concentrating on leather and leather hides finished in Italy, 95% of Nicoletti's Chinese production is dedicated to their US accounts. Nicoletti plan to open a network of 40 brand-name stores in China. Meanwhile, Natuzzi, who have produced their promotional Italsofa brand in Shanghai, China, for four years, are set to open a tannery next year in Brazil, near Salvador da Bahia, a 150,000 sq ft tannery, representing an investment of €25 million. Natuzzi already operate two production facilities in Brazil. With the tannery, the company will have about 600,000 sq ft of production and finishing space in South America.

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