Today was packed with site visits from start to finish. We started the day by checking out of our hotel in Verona and heading to Gruppo Sinergia, an e-commerce logistics services provider in the Verona area. It was interesting to see how they were taking a different approach to e-commerce for the Italian market. Italians are more loyal to physical store locations than consumers in other markets and so will use e-commerce in a different way. Gruppo Sinergia wants to address this distinction by offering traditional e-commerce logistics of warehousing, packaging, and shipping but also offer real-time in-store inventory to customers. This will enhance the in-store experience versus replacing it as most e-commerce strategies aim to do.
After visiting Gruppo Sinergia, we visited the Sartoria Cavour Tailoring company. They make high quality, handmade tailoring pieces for other brands as well as their own in-house line. They work with brands like Corneliani and Ralph Lauren to manufacture by hand suit jackets, suit pants, blazers, and tailored outerwear like overcoats. It was interesting to see how much detail is required in each step of the manufacturing process and to understand the cost of producing each item due to the amount of labor required. They produce 60 pieces total each day with the work of 40 full-time employees.
We headed from Sartoria Cavour to lunch in the small town of Borghetto which sits on the Mincio River about 20 miles from Verona. We ate at a nice restaurant overlooking the river. The meal was very relaxed and a good way to recharge for the rest of the day.
After lunch we headed to the Mario Faroni (MF1) knitwear factory. This was by far the most high-profile company that we were able to visit. MF1 does the knitwear for brands such as Gucci, Dior, Saint Laurent, Louis Vuitton, Diane von Furstenberg and other top luxury brands. Touring their facilities we got to see the level of passion and dedication that every single employee has about their work. Every step of the manufacturing process is treated as a science and an art. It makes you further understand the pricing and prestige associated with these brands and their garments.
From MF1, we returned two and a half hours to our original hotel in Milan to finish out our trip. Tomorrow we have more site visits and another walking tour of Milan.