Poltrona Frau has become an authoritative example of the best Made in Italy, bringing and telling the world a craftsmanship that finds in its materials and precise production the source of its primary inspiration, matched with the finest aesthetic research. The company has found immediate affinity with the American market which is open to innovations and appreciates the Italian quality. A meeting with the managers of the Group has highlighted these dynamics, among synergies with the property, trade and contract. Seeking a balance between history, heritage of the company and market needs.
Nicola Coropulis – General Manager Poltrona Frau
How and why has Poltrona Frau grown so fast in the US market in the last three years?
Poltrona Frau has grown on the US market in the last three years thanks to the work of the monobrand stores under direct management in NY, LA and Washington DC, an improved visibility with Branded Spaces (shop-in-shops) at the major multibrand retailers of designer furniture and the development of increasing synergy with the ‘office world’ channel dominated by the Haworth distribution network.
How big an impact did acquisition by the Haworth group have?
Acquisition by Haworth gave us a distinctly “American” business methodology and approach but it also provided us with a vision of the US market not as an export market but a domestic one, opening up great prospects for development for us. Added to this is the synergy I mentioned with the world of the office.
In Italy, the artisan feel and the history of Poltrona Frau are easy to appreciate; is it the same in the USA?
Beautiful things, made well with excellent materials and a long history of craftsmanship are just as highly esteemed in every part of the world. Indeed, the American client recognises the engrained Italian quality of our product precisely because of the combination of all these elements.
Poltrona Frau has often lent its brand to cultural initiatives: do Americans respond to this kind of initiative?
The cultural initiatives with which Poltrona Frau associates its Brand are conducted on a global scale and, if done appropriately and presented coherently, appeal to consumers around the world and especially Americans, who love a story.
Kurt Wallner – General Manager Contract Division
What kind of impact has the contract sector in the USA had on Poltrona Frau?
Contract business makes up around 25% of PF’s turnover in the USA.
What kind of projects do you get involved with most?
Mainly 3 types: 1. Auditorium seating (for example: the town hall of Apple’s new headquarters in Cupertino), 2. Fashion stores (for example: the new Bottega Veneta flagship in Madison Avenue), 3. Luxury hotels (Dream Hotel NYC).
Paolo Pantaloni – USA Market Director
What are the obstacles and the opportunities in the retail market?
The Made in Italy product is always an attractive factor for the American customer and the trend is growing. Looking at our case, I don’t envisage any particular obstacles except those deriving from economic or political decisions that, as always, reflect on the consumer’s mood with a consequent slowdown in sales. Poltrona Frau is a historic product, unique in design and manufacturing, which is positioned in the high-end range. By its nature Poltrona Frau is connected to a model of retail business addressed to a niche and demanding clientele that normally is not affected by the above-mentioned obstacles.