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Zucchi Group Extending Product Offer – WWD

Zucchi Group Extending Product Offer – WWD

RESCALDINA, Italy Joel Benillouche is injecting a dose of new energy into the Vincenzo Zucchi group.

“We expect to recreate a relationship with the customer, reorganizing and redefining the brands, leveraging a new digital platform, and we are reactivating our textile supply chain,” said Benillouche, chairman and shareholder of the publicly listed group, during an interview at the Rescaldina headquarters, a 30-minute drive from Milan. Zucchi has been controlled since 2016 by investment fund Astrance Capital SA, which was founded by Benillouche.

Astrance also controls the Paris-based Descamps and Jalla, sharing synergies and several platforms with Zucchi.

The group offers bed and bath linens; baby collections; living, kitchen and home wares, and home decorations from the brands Jardin Secret, Zucchi and Zucchi Block, Granfoulard, Bassetti, and Santens, as well as the Tommy Hilfiger license for home textiles exclusively for the Europe, Middle East and Africa region.

The young entrepreneur has succeeded in turning around Zucchi, which before his arrival was on the brink of bankruptcy after a period of changes in management and shareholders. He wiped out its debt of 80 million euros and the company is now profitable, reporting sales of 100 million euros and expectations of growth of around 30 percent this year.

“Zucchi needed an industrial investor,” said Benillouche, who was previously an investment banker at Lazard and Morgan Stanley, among others.

With Astrance, he has been fine-tuning the brands and investing in new machinery.

Case in point: Shifting from a product-driven brand to a new lifestyle and customer-centric strategy is now key for Benillouche. He has launched Bassetti Home Innovation, which offers renovation services and interior design consultancy. A team of architects and interior designers selected by Bassetti Home Innovation propose solutions reflecting the wishes and needs of the clients, offering an onsite supervision and consultancy.

The group relies on a history that spans 220 years, underscored Benillouche, as Descamps was founded in 1802, Bassetti in 1830, Jalla in 1881 and Zucchi in 1920.

In 1987, Bassetti launched the multiuse Granfoulard, which he claimed “sold the most in the history of European textiles.”

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