RIMOWA, a luxury success story of luxury ‘Made in Germany’

As part of a series dedicated to German luxury brands, CPP-LUXURY.COM has interviewed exclusively Mr Dieter Morszeck, CEO of RIMOWA

How did your company perform in 2013? What do you expect of 2014?

Last year was very successful for RIMOWA, because we achieved an increase of approximately 40% over 2012. This is an extraordinary result and I am really proud of my team. Many new stores were opened and we could boost the productivity for both Aluminum and Polycarbonate cases. For 2014 we have already major plans and can promise that it will be an exciting year for RIMOWA.

Which have been the key driving elements for the success of the Rimowa brand in the past years from a marketing point of view?

The success of RIMOWA relies on the quality of our products. The functionality and our professional service complete the brand image. And our clear marketing strategy focuses on opening exclusive RIMOWA stores and currently on the campaign with our testimonial Alessandra Ambrosio.

What has been your approach to retail development? How many of your new mono-brand boutiques/stores do you operate directly versus franchising?

At the moment we have around 100 RIMOWA stores, some are franchised and some are operated directly.

Geographically, which are your strongest markets and which markets you consider as an immediate opportunity for expansion?

Germany is definitely our strongest market and as our home market very important. But Asia is also growing quickly and we are expanding constantly.

In 2013 you expanded your production capacity and added new jobs. Tell us more.

We are proud to produce about 5.800 cases a day in our four production facilities in Germany, Canada, Czech Republic and Brazil. To achieve this great result, we had to employ many new team members at our headquarters in Cologne. Like this we could reduce our delivery time to 10-12 weeks for aluminum luggage, which is a major success.

How important is ‘Made in Germany’ for Rimowa?

The fact that our aluminum luggage is made in Germany is crucial for us and our customers. The quality of our products is on a very high level and we don’t accept any compromises. “Made in Germany” means combining excellent materials, our well known design and brilliant technology.

To what extent the DNA of your brand is more driven by fashion or design?

The design with the grooves is essential, because that’s our distinctive feature. But the RIMOWA design is closely related to fashion and stands for a luxurious lifestyle.

Beyond your partnership with Porsche, do you consider other similar partnerships?

The partnership with Porsche is really great, because we produce cases that fit perfectly to the colour of the car. We also have a long-term collaboration with Lufthansa and are frequently in contact with their pilots to improve our products. But besides that, no further co-operations are planned.

How would you define the Rimowa customer? How does luxury lifestyle relate to your brand?

There are different types of RIMOWA customers: business people, brand-conscious travelers and fashion affine customers.