Italian handbag maker Furla predicts its China sales alone will outpace the company’s in 2014 as a rising middle class and government austerity drive benefit entry-level luxury goods. According to CEO Eraldo Poletto, Furla’s sales in China will expand by a double-digit percentage this year, compared with a high single digit for the entire company.
“We see ourselves as a door to the luxury world. The middle class in China is expanding and their wealth is accelerating, that’s where our growth comes from,” says Poletto.
The company joins affordable luxury brands such as Coach and Michael Kors in courting China’s middle class, who are a bright spot amid slowing growth in the luxury goods market. With bags priced from about $343 to $617, a fraction of what Prada charges, Furla is benefiting from the Chinese government’s curbs on extravagance that have dented demand at higher-end labels.