In conversation with LORENZO BARBERIO
What are the new challenges in Asia? Let’s discuss it with Lorenzo Barberio, General Manager & Head of Sales APAC at Marcolin Group.
In light of the very positive signs that, over the past two years, have characterized Asian markets in many sectors, there is growing interest in these markets also in the eyewear industry. For Marcolin, it’s an area with huge potential, and the positive performances delivered over the past few years are a testament to this. But what are the new challenges? Let’s discuss it with Lorenzo Barberio, General Manager and Head of Sales of the Asia-Pacific Region at the Singapore office, whom we contacted during the Hong Kong Optical Fair.
«Marcolin has been operating in Asia since 1997 and has had its own office for ten years now, previously in Hong Kong, then in Singapore and Shanghai. Our new showroom in Singapore, in true Marcolin style, is a sort of observatory for us, as well as a reference point for our customers and partners from this part of the world: the meetings and new product launches that we organize a few times a year, also thanks to the breathtaking setting of the Marina Bay Financial Centre, always attract massive crowds. The Asian continent is extremely wide but it is also more uniform than you’d think. In countries like Japan, Indonesia, the Philippines and Korea, our brands, especially in the luxury and sport segments, are very much appreciated and loved. And don’t forget China, a country that is experiencing great change».
«The are many challenges, starting with those resulting from the strong presence of our competitors, especially in the luxury segment. But this drives us to do better in promoting our iconic brands, such as TOM FORD, by also relying on new channels, like what is happening today, for instance, with our latest collaboration with Estée Lauder. Even in times of market uncertainty, however, the world of eyewear, and especially brands like Zegna, Max Mara, Timberland and adidas, continue to deliver very positive figures. This happens both in store and online, thanks to our presence on TMall, a huge platform with 550 million Chinese users: today in China 40% of purchases are made online for many product categories. Lastly, there are also positive forecasts for optical frames, a growing segment due to the rising rates of myopia in young people and children».
“The are many challenges, starting with the strong presence of our competitors, especially in the luxury segment”.
«Apart from seeing excellent opportunities for the TOM FORD collections, which is already a leading brand in Japan and Korea, today in China we are focusing on promoting brands like Zegna and Max Mara. And, due to the healthy lifestyle trend, we’re also seeing great positioning potential for adidas and Timberland collections, two brands that are closely connected with sports, running and the outdoor lifestyle. This is thanks to the campaigns promoting a healthier, active lifestyle that, over the past few years, have resulted in an ever-increasing number of runners and sports lovers also in China».