Montblanc to introduce leather goods line

Montblanc, the well-known maker of quality writing instruments, is expanding its product line to include leather goods, which it will be marketing along with its other products through in- and out-of-store boutiques.The leather line will include a filofax system organizer, a...

Montblanc, the well-known maker of quality writing instruments, is expanding its product line to include leather goods, which it will be marketing along with its other products through in- and out-of-store boutiques.

The leather line will include a filofax system organizer, a diarium, a larger version of the organizer called an agenda, a pocket agenda, wallets, a key case, a credit card carrier, a business card case, and pen pouches.

The suggested retail prices range from $80 to $925.

Montblanc describes these all as lifestyle products.

The line expansion is continuing Montblanc’s tradition of ‘high-touch’ as opposed to ‘high-tech’ products, says Wayne Kingsland, vice-president of marketing for Montblanc North America.

‘Its almost an anti high-tech approach – it’s very personal,’ Kingsland says.

Montblanc has been branching out from producing pens exclusively since it introduced writing paper about two years ago.

The company also intends to begin marketing jewelry items such as tie-bars, cuff links and brooches, starting this fall.

As well as distributing its new leather line through high end department stores, specialty stores, jewelry stores and leather stores, the company intends to open 10 Montblanc boutiques in North America, three of which will be located in Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver.

Also this fall, Montblanc has established more significant displays at department store counters, and initiated a Quality Growth Program, to go along with the launch of the leather line, which ensures a high standard of product knowledge from retail salespeople.

According to Kingsland, some retailers have already been dropped as distributers, for being unwilling to comply with Montblanc’s new service ethic.

Last year, the 80-year-old company consolidated its worldwide operations into three Strategic Business Units – North America, Europe and Japan.

The North American and worldwide advertising campaign has been created by the New York City agency Waring and LaRosa.

The campaign, with its spare black-and-white design, will be presented predominantly in lifestyle-based magazines.

Kingsland, a Canadian who worked for Koh-I-Noor when it handled Canadian marketing for Montblanc before it centralized in New Jersey, says Canada will not be merely lumped into the American campaign.

‘The Canadian [advertising] will be specifically geared towards identifying retailers,’ he says.