Luxury shoes and apparel manufacturer Salvatore Ferragamo is to revamp its Hong Kong stores and service strategies this autumn in an effort to improve profits reported the South China Morning Post.

Chief executive Ferruccio Ferragamo said: "It is a competitive environment and we cannot relax," he said. "We need to constantly see what the customer wants and respond to the environment."

Mr Ferragamo was in Hong Kong last week on his way to China, where the group opened a store in Beijing and plans to add eight shops to its existing 12 by the end of next year.

"There is an effervescent market for our goods in China and a lot of competition there," he said. "It is a very interesting market."

The East represented 42 per cent of Salvatore Ferragamo's turnover in 2000, from 27 per cent the year before. The group recently opened a store in South Korea and is eyeing the Indian market.

Salvatore Ferragamo is alert to the problem of counterfeiting on the mainland and has set up a department to fight the problem at its root in Italy.

"But as my father (who founded the company) used to tell my mother: `you shouldn't worry too much when people are copying your style - you should worry if they do not,' " Mr Ferragamo said.

The company does not intend to plough money into expensive e-commerce sites as it believes that luxury goods customers still prefer to see products before buying them. "It serves well as a vehicle for information, but customers still expect the personal touch," concluded Mr Ferragamo.