The Spanish companies in the luxury sector have come together to form an organization called the Circulo Espanol del Lujo Fortuny with the objective of promoting and protecting the luxury sector. Europe’s luxury industry associations have welcomed the new member. Companies like Loewe, Numanthia, Lladró, Carrera y Carrera, Natura Bissé, Pagos Marqués de Griñón, Village Olive payments, La Amarilla de Ronda (LA Organic) and Sotogrande have taken the lead in forming this organization which aims to enhance the image of high-end Spanish brands’ products and services abroad. The new organization hopes to defend and represent the luxury sector as it has become the key driver for the Spanish economy. They plan to promote training in the sector and provide the platform for sharing experience and knowledge among its members.
Circulo Fortuny will also join the European Cultural and Creative Industries Alliance (ECCIA) which already has three major European luxury goods and creative industries organizations – Comité Colbert (France), Fondazione Altagamma (Italy) and Walpole British Luxury (UK). The European Union has welcomed the move. Its Vice President Antonio Tajani considers it good news as it was the luxury exports that continued to grow through the financial crisis and represents the best aspects of European cultural excellence. The luxury sector in Europe has proved that it is capable of sustainable growth and is a significant contributor to the economic health of the region. European brands account for about 80% of the worldwide luxury market and, among the top 25 worldwide luxury companies, 17 are from the European Union. The luxury sector in Europe is a big employer with almost 800,000 people in 2010 and growing. The production of most of the consumer products has become unviable for Europe and has shifted out but the luxury goods sector continues to design and manufacture in Europe.
The official launch of Circulo was a grand event in Madrid. Carlos Falcó, Marques de Griñon, Executive President of the Circulo, and Enrique Loewe, Honorary President presented the new association to the media. They emphasized the importance of luxury sector to both the society and the economy. The sector that does a lot of handmade manufacturing is resistant to economic downturns and will be the key driver to economic recovery. Luxury products foster tradition and craftsmanship. The luxury sector in Spain has been relatively slower than the other countries in the region but has shown strong signs of improvement with high levels of export.
TNS Sofres had undertaken a survey sometime back ‘The perception of Europeans on Luxury Industry’, and the result showed that by and large see the luxury sector in a positive light. 70% believe that the luxury sector ensures the cultural influence of Europe throughout the world; 52% believe that the luxury sector is a key driver for the maintenance of craftsmanship; 61% say that the luxury sector has a very important role in generating employment in Europe; and 56% declare that the luxury sector is critical to ensure European and Spanish competitiveness worldwide. It is this positive environment that has led the luxury companies to unite under the umbrella of this new association. It will provide them with a platform to optimize their efforts to reach the next level of success. The creation of the association is an important milestone for the luxury industry in Spain. Circulo Fortuny had in fact come into being informally almost two years ago to counter the regulatory reform of selective distribution that the European Commission initiated at that time. The success of the association led to the formalization of the Circulo which now has solid legal structure and can fight for the rights of the sector even more effectively.