Since national broadcaster China Central Television (CCTV) aired a report alleging that “Made in Italy” products sold at luxury furniture retailer DaVinci are actually made in China, the company, which retails such top brands as Armani Casa, Fendi Casa and Versace Home, has become a target of national scorn.
Yesterday, DaVinci’s Singaporean founder and CEO Doris Phua, hosted a press conference in Beijing that was simulcasted to Shanghai and other key cities in China where the retailer has a presence.
Despite being backed by about 20 representatives of Italian and American brands, some of whom took the microphone to assure the media that DaVinci is selling their original products, Phua failed to clear the air of doubt that now casts a shadow on her company’s future.
Phua’s only message at the press conference was a plea for the public to believe her claims that all products labelled “Made in Italy” are actually made in Italy, and for “another opportunity to serve”. While the company had worked with the Jinfenghuang and Changfeng factories in Guangdong Province mentioned in the CCTV report, those products were for a Chinese brand that no longer existed, and neither was the furniture sold in DaVinci, said Phua.
The event was interrupted by an angry customer who claimed that he had bought over 10 million RMB worth of furniture from DaVinci, and just wanted to know if he should believe the CCTV report or DaVinci. When Phua refused to take his question, asking to finish her statement, the customer walked out in a fit, and the event quickly went downhill from there.
By the end of the media conference, Phua was an emotional wreck, making a quick exit from the venue before any of the journalists could ask questions, and leaving the presser in chaos.
The Shanghai Entry-Exit Inspection and Quarantine Bureau has since issued a statement saying it found DaVinci had gone through customs procedures for some China-made furniture which stayed at the Waigaoqiao Bonded Zone for a day, and then became “imported” the next day.
Watch videos of the press conference after the jump…