From Vittorio Veneto (Treviso, Italy) to Uk: Falmec, the brand specialised in hoods, integrated cooking systems and air purifiers, opens Falmec UK Limited, in order to “get the message out to existing and new customers that Falmec is a multi-faceted premium brand”, says Sean Drumm, CEO Falmec UK. In the following interview, he explains: “We need to differentiate ourselves from other cooker hood companies as Falmec manufactures to a standard, not to a price. From our experience, if you go in on price and ignore the quality, your company will not stand the test of time in the competitive kitchen business”.
Starting from January 2020, Falmec opens Falmec UK Limited. Could you explain this news?
The reaction to the opening of Falmec in the UK has been a very positive and enthusiastic one. Falmec is a premium brand in the UK and it was definitely the right time for the change from distributor to full subsidiary to take place in my opinion. Our order book in the first week was excellent so it’s a great start and gives us all a lot of confidence for the future.
How important is the UK market to Falmec? How much has the brand grown in recent years in UK?
The kitchen & interior design market always looks to the UK for inspiration in upcoming trends and technologies and the Falmec brand is key to this. When it comes to air treatment for the home, Falmec is clearly a world leader. I have just undertaken a tour of kitchen retailers throughout the South of England and I was greeted with a lot of positivity by companies who have heard of Falmec and are keen to start trading with us. There is so much potential in the UK market and by rationalising the range, we predict strong growth as we intensify the focus on all categories of the brand.
You will lead Falmec UK Limited with Ron Blount as Business Development. It is the first time that you work together? What will be the strategy for increase the Uk market?
Ron Blount and I have known each other and worked together for many years. He was formerly the MD of Blanco in the UK and I was in Sales for the company under his leadership. Now I am leading the team for Falmec and absolutely delighted to have Ron on board as his knowledge of the UK kitchen market is second to none. Not only is he a great mentor, but he is also extremely well-known and well-liked by kitchen retailers nationwide. Ron and I share a passion for the kitchen business – and for Falmec – so we are working in tandem to get the job done.
Which will be Falmec Uk Limited target?
The strategy is very simple: to get the message out to existing and new customers that Falmec is a multi-faceted premium brand. We need to differentiate ourselves from other cooker hood companies as Falmec manufactures to a standard, not to a price. From our experience, if you go in on price and ignore the quality, your company will not stand the test of time in the competitive kitchen business.
Which are the most important Falmec projects in Uk?
As we build the UK business, we will be targeting as many categories as we can, because as a new business, we have to prove ourselves in terms of both supply and service. Thankfully, the Poser family and all the team at Falmec in Italy are there to support us whenever necessary and that is very important to us here in the UK. We shall be targeting the premium sector in all cases and are planning to employ another member of the team in due course, whose job will be specifically to work with architects and developers to increase business in the contract market, which is huge in the UK. Our business is primarily residential as all our products are aimed at the domestic market in order to improve life at home.
Which style and products are most requested by English customers?
At present, there seems to be a definite trend towards built-in products and especially those that can be concealed and recirculated like the Gruppo Incasso range. Falmec’s integrated cooking systems that combine cooking with extraction in discreet, minimalist units are particularly in demand as they are unique to us. Also, the winning combination of excellent suction power with very low noise levels is very popular as these are two of the most essential requirements for a cooker hood – especially in today’s open plan kitchens. Falmec’s NRS Noise Reduction System is well-known in the UK as is the Quiet Mark, which was recently awarded to Falmec in recognition of the NRS range. Falmec has also just won a German Design Award for 2020 for the Spazio extraction centre and this has been promoted significantly via the press and social media to hopefully increase desire and drive demand for Falmec through to kitchen retailers.
You work with Falmec since 2007, as Ireland dealer. In these years, have you seen an evolution of style and customer taste?
Over the past 10 years, Falmec has revolutionised the extraction market with its unrivalled collection of technologically advanced products and this has enabled the Falmec brand to become the market leader in premium extraction in Ireland. Consumers have also become much more knowledgeable and sophisticated in those 10 years, thanks largely to the internet & social media. They do their research and understand just how important efficient extraction is to their quality of life in the kitchen & in the home generally. Falmec was ahead of the curve in being able to fulfil these needs in all sectors.
Any Brexit effect?
There can be no doubt that all the uncertainty surrounding Brexit has had a major effect on business in the UK and Ireland. However, now we are in 2020 and the decision has been made to leave the EU, so like all challenges we face in business, we will move forward and make the best of the situation. Fortunately for us, we have great support from Falmec in Italy and they have faith in us to get the job done. Truth is that the UK is a very large market for the EU so it cannot be ignored. We firmly believe that once Brexit is behind us, the Falmec brand will have a great future in the UK and the EU.