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Fashioned From Grit: How Tocco Toscano Forged Global Success

By FedEx | May 16, 2024

With origins in Florence, Italy, Tocco Toscano has crafted high-quality luxury bags since the mid-1980s. Discover how this homegrown Singapore brand embraced digital innovation and modernized operations to meet the evolving needs of today’s online consumers.

In the glamorous world of fashion, not all stories start on the runways of Milan or ateliers of Paris. For Tocco Toscano, a Singapore fashion label specializing in leather bags and accessories, the journey began in an unlikely place.

Label founder James Lor first worked with leather as part of a rehabilitation program, where he learned to bind leather bibles. This serendipitous introduction to leatherwork kindled a passion in him, steering him towards founding Tocco Toscano in 1987.

From apprentice to master craftsman

James started selling leather belts door-to-door before making the decision to apprentice under a leather craftsman in Florence, Italy. He was eager to hone his craft and expand his expertise in the intricacies of leatherwork.

The Italian craftsman that James was apprenticed to also sold bespoke leather items under the Toscano label. As the apprenticeship drew to a close in 1987, James secured the licensing rights to market Toscano goods in Asia, before eventually buying the trademark in the mid-1990s. With this transformative move, the brand rebranded as Tocco Toscano, which means 'Touch of Tuscany’, aiming to introduce premium leather goods to a broader Asian audience.

Now operating online and stocked in department stores across Southeast Asia, Tocco Toscano focuses on quality craftsmanship and attention to detail, with each item reflecting the brand's dedication to excellence.

Evolving for the e-commerce generation

Capitalizing on its growing popularity and the demand for affordable luxury goods from Europe, Tocco Toscano worked on expanding its reach to discerning patrons worldwide. And delivering the brand to a new contemporary audience meant reinventing sales platforms and customer touchpoints for the online era.

Founder James’s son Joseph Lor has been a key player in the transition from legacy brand to online retailer. As well as focusing on e-commerce, he has ensured that the brand finds new customers on social media, driving discoverability through targeted content on platforms like Instagram and TikTok. And to appeal to Gen Z consumers and their purchase habits, Tocco Toscano have unveiled new ranges of vegan and plant-based leather as well as embarked on high-profile collaborations with brands like Chupa Chups, Hello Kitty and Singapore Airlines.

Building resilience and overcoming challenges

For Tocco Toscano, reinvention and a change of stewardship came at just the right time. With the pivot to e-commerce, traditional fashion labels risked being left behind. When Joseph took over as CEO in 2016, the brand faced cash flow issues and debt. With outdated processes and an operations strategy that wasn’t suited to the modern retail landscape, Tocco Toscano needed to transform quickly in order to survive.

Establishing an e-commerce arm and investing in digitalization, Joseph worked around the clock to save the company from bankruptcy and turn around their fortunes.

As Tocco Toscano tapped new markets and needed to send more products overseas, other challenges presented themselves. To deliver a seamless customer experience across borders, supply chain and logistics needed to be ironed out. High shipping costs were a significant barrier to success, impacting both operational efficiency and customer affordability. Additionally, instances of missing or damaged packages led to prolonged resolution times and heightened customer dissatisfaction. These obstacles threatened to hinder the brand's expansion plans and compromise its reputation for excellence.

Forging a reliable partnership that delivers

Recognizing the need for a reliable logistics partner, Tocco Toscano forged a strategic partnership with FedEx in 2022. This collaboration resulted in notable improvements in fulfillment efficiency and customer satisfaction.

Through reliable on-time deliveries and advanced tracking features, we were able to reduce delays and bolster package security, increasing trust and satisfaction with Tocco Toscano’s customers. Real-time shipment tracking and adaptable shipping alternatives through FedEx International Priority and FedEx International Economy also provides customers with visibility and peace of mind for their deliveries. A rise in customer satisfaction has paved the way for increased overseas demand and expanded market reach.

From regional to global

Looking ahead, Tocco Toscano plans to expand into new markets, including Hong Kong and Indonesia. By leveraging our services, the brand is looking to reach wider audiences and cement its position in the industry - all while upholding the positive customer experience it has cultivated.

Tocco Toscano’s journey and logistics strategy shows the transformative power of strategic partnerships. As businesses across industries strive for operational efficiency and market expansion, Tocco Toscano’s evolution highlights the critical importance of reliability, online discoverability and customer-centricity in driving success in today's competitive landscape.

For more real-life stories of how fashion brands are evolving to keep pace with e-commerce, visit our Small Business Stories here.
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