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With sales boom, Gucci tightens grip on suppliers

Reuters FLORENCE (Reuters) — Kering’s fashion powerhouse Gucci is bringing more manufacturing in-house, as luxury firms step up efforts to meet rampant demand from Chinese shoppers with slicker operations.

Gucci, which said last week it could one day overtake LVMH’s Louis Vuitton as the world’s top luxury brand by sales, also outlined plans at its strategy update to almost halve its reliance on independent leather goods suppliers.

The step comes as labels including Britain’s Burberry and France’s Vuitton begin to levy greater control over their production or invest in speeding up internal processes to ride a rebound in luxury goods sales.

Gucci, one of the fastest-growing fashion brands in 2017 following a flamboyant design makeover, plans to cut its use of independent suppliers to 40 percent of its leather goods production over the long term, from 75 percent now.

The Italian brand aims to halve the turnaround time between a product’s conception and delivery in store as a result, CEO Marco Bizzarri said, as well as secure the production capacity it needs to match its punchy sales ambitions.

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