Landau Sacamoto Inc.
Landau Sacamoto Inc. is a Montreal based private corporation engaged in the design, manufacturing and distribution of handbags, wallets, luggage, and travel accessories. The company’s core competency is in producing quality, value-oriented, and fashionable products, inspired by the latest trends from the fashion capitals of the world. Landau Sacamoto has become an industry leader in the Canadian market, with products appealing to all consumer segments, and distribution with most major Canadian retailers. The company products are regularly featured in fashion magazines such as Elle, Lou Lou, Chatelaine, Clin D’Oeil, and Bazaar.
“By the mid-1990s, our handbags covered all the major chains and department stores, and it was hard to expand in this segment further; that’s when we took on luggage. We began distributing luggage under the Ricardo brand, which is developed in the United States. The brand was unknown in Canada at the time, but today it’s amongst the top performing brands. Today we have several lines of handbags and luggage,” says Nick Tsatsoulis, President of Landau Sacamoto Inc.
The handbag and luggage segments each represent 50 per cent of the company business, and can be found in most retailers. Within the handbag division, Landau distributes various house and private label brands including KGB, Ricardo Beverly Hills, Hilary Radley, and Rosetti. Luggage brands include Ricardo Beverly Hills, VIA Rail Canada,
International Traveller (IT), TCA, CalPak, J World New York, and Biaggi.
Although the company began in 1980 as a local manufacturer of handbags, the scope of its activities has expanded such, that overseeing the production is an essential part of Landau’s operations. By the end of the 1980s, Landau had established a presence in the Chinese manufacturing sector, but opted to maintain the design process in Montreal.
Landau’s design team travels to the fashion capitals of the world in search of the latest trends. The team is committed to staying informed in regard to market trends and industry innovations – an approach that reflects the reality of changes taking place in the market, including shifts in buying behaviour of both retailers and consumers. Demand for up-to-date, fashion-forward products has risen, and there is an expectation with regards to the level of design both in handbags and in luggage. As a result, there has been an increased demand on designers in the industry. This stipulation of fashionable styling has an effect on the manufacturing process, as fashion currents must be anticipated months in advance.
“We are in the fashion business, so to remain competitive we create designs that are in line with these latest trends, but also designs that adhere to our price points and our customers,” says Tsatsoulis.
“We have excellent in-house designers, and we have established a sample room in China, where we have 28 employees. We have built very close relationships with our Chinese operation, and with the years of experience, we are able to create samples very efficiently. Our Chinese operation understands what we are looking for in terms of design and quality. We can have a sample created in as little as 10 days. The ability to produce samples with such little lead time provides a significant market advantage over our competitors,” says Tsatsoulis.
The company also operates a factory in China, furthering its advantage in terms production efficiency. By controlling the whole design and production process, Landau Sacamoto is capable of lowering lead times to as low as one month — a definitive advantage in terms of production competition. That is also one of the reasons that the company sales have increased annually since the late 1980’s.
The extent of Landau’s activities requires that they maintain a highly diversified brand portfolio in order to appeal to a variety of demographic groups. “Our designs cover the youth, the working woman, and also the more mature woman under different brands. For example, our Ricardo handbags are aimed at a more mature customer seeking a fashionable bag, but one that is also practical with many compartments and good overall organization; KGB Studio is more focused on capturing fashion for the younger woman – a fashion product that is also very affordable.
“The secret of our success is that we make the bag look more expensive. We do this through usage of better materials and better styling. We put details on the bags that the competition leaves out. Our designers are trained to do detailing work. It’s the detail that can make or break the product,” says Tsatsoulis.
Landau’s luggage division offers luggage uprights, travel essentials, backpacks, business totes, and duffle bag collections. The company was among the first to introduce fashion oriented luggage, available in a number of prints and colors.
“Today it’s not luggage. It’s fashion. And it’s not just the outside colours and finishes; it’s also the inner lining. That’s why we always use quality print fabrics that entice the customer. It’s always about the product detail.”
This market has been a very challenging segment, but the company’s strong presence in Canada offers the backbone for the things to come, as the company plans to grow internationally. The company is already selling products to Australia, and also looks to expand into South America and the United States.
“The U.S. is a hard market to crack, but that’s where our growth will be. The U.S. market has a lot of competition, and the U.S. customers don’t see Canadian products as being special or different – not in a way they look at say European products. Canada has great fashion but it has not established itself in the United States. We have to offer a price, a value and a cutting-edge fashion, and we are slowly succeeding in that,” says Tsatsoulis.