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Cueros Vélez, the Colombian manufacturer of leather goods and footwear, has announced that it will invest US$6 million to build a new wet-blue tannery. The company that already owns a finishing plant is looking to make strides in becoming vertically integrated.
The information was revealed by CEO Cesar Maldonado who indicated that the new plant would replace the one they have in neighbouring Venezuela.
The company is based in Medellin and has its own retanning and finishing plant and has decided to build the new tannery in Amagá in the province of Antioquia. The installation will have the capacity to process 12,000 hides per month and calculate that operations will begin in 2015.
“For us it is essential to have control of our most important resource which is leather. We do not want to continue leaving this matter in the hands of third parties”, he added.
Cueros Vélez is also planning an ambitious expansion strategy in Latin America. The plans are to increase its presence in Ecuador and Peru. “In Ecuador we have a store we opened last year. It is in the Scala shopping mall. The idea is to implement an aggressive plan in Quito and Guayaquilsnd we have been discussing these commercial projects for more than a year. We want to close this year with five stores in this country and in Peru”, stated Maldonado.
As well as new openings that the company will make in the eight countries where it has a presence, it is also looking at opening new stores in Colombia itself.
Maldonado also revealed that operating revenues in 2013 reached US$105 million, which represent a growth rate of 18% compared with 2012.