Digio Leather opens factory in Albania to produce new power motion line

ELBASSAN, Albania — The Incanto and Digio Leather Sofas Group is expanding with a 540,000-square-foot plant here that will produce a new motion upholstery line for Digio expected to ship this spring and hit retail floors soon after.

The factory will produce motion upholstery featuring Italian leathers under the Today Sofas brand. The company is launching this line at Premarket in High Point later this month, with 10 groups featuring double power sofas that are expected to retail from $2,199 to $2,499.

The company will show these in a new Digio showroom in space 512 of Furniture Plaza that also will showcase Digio’s stationary and sleeper sofas and the Kathy Ireland by Digio line. It previously showed on the eighth floor of the Design Wing of the International Home Furnishings Center.

This is one of the power motion groups that Digio will produce in its new Albania factory.

“The reason we are moving is that we feel Furniture Plaza is a very convenient location and most of our customers already shop that building,” said Steve Lush, president, sales for North America.

Lush noted that the company continues to produce its stationary upholstery and sleeper sofa line in Matera, Italy, along with its Kathy Ireland licensed upholstery line and its upper end Incanto upholstery line, which includes both stationary and motion upholstery.

The new Digio motion line made in Albania will be the first the company is producing outside Italy. While officials did not reveal the investment they are making in the existing building and new equipment for the operation, the company said the facility is owned by the Incanto and Digio group and is being managed by members of the Sforza family executive team.

“We were fortunate to have an outstanding 2021, with our dealer base and sales volume increasing more than five-fold in our stationary sofas and sleeper categories,” Lush said. “Our licensed Kathy Ireland collection also performed well and continues to gain placements. To continue our rapid growth in 2022, the next logical step was to expand into motion furniture.”

The Albania plant initially will produce about 10 containers a day of finished motion groups. This capacity is eventually expected to grow up to about 25 containers per day.

“We are positioning this as a 100% motion factory,” Lush said, adding that the plant is employing about 300 workers initially, which is expected to grow to as many as 800 once it reaches full capacity.

Lush added that the plant will use the same supplier it uses in Italy for the mechanisms and motors in the Digio line, which he noted adds economies of scale to the production process. And as both plants are using the same tanneries, there will be some crossover among the leathers used in the the Digio, Incanto and Today Sofas line. There also will be some fabrics available on the motion groups.

“They are the same exact suppliers we use in Italy,” Lush said, noting that the new motion models will be fully developed in time for Premarket and ready to ship in 12-14 weeks from the time of order. They are expected to hit retail as early as late summer.

Reorders are expected to have lead times of 8-9 weeks, which is the same as the company’s factory in Italy.

Lush said that the company chose Albania as a manufacturing location due to its attractive rates for experienced labor, plus its proximity to Italy.

“There is a lot of cooperation between the two countries when it comes to business,” Lush said. “That’s one factor – there is a comfort level there. The other thing is proximity. It is just across the Adriatic Sea, so it’s an easy trip.”

He also described the Today Sofas line as offering dealers both style and competitive pricing in the motion category.

“It’s a price story and also a style story,” Lush said. “Whereas Incanto is purely very high-end Italian and European contemporary design, Today Sofas from Digio will be more commercial contemporary. Incanto’s target is high-end stores and contemporary specialists and our target is Top 200 and mid-level majors.”

Thomas Russell

Home News Now Editor-in-Chief Thomas Russell has covered the furniture industry for 25 years at various daily and weekly consumer and trade publications. He can be reached at tom@homenewsnow.com and at 336-508-4616.

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