Rediscovering slowness

The pandemic has slowed down rhythms. Which is a good thing, according to Ercole Salvioni, President of Salvioni Design Solutions: “Showrooms struggle to keep the frantic pace of new developments and new models.”

Ercole Salvioni
Ercole Salvioni

Many companies are not presenting new products this year, but operations of restyling and updating. How have your offerings been reorganized, in the absence of new collections?

In our view this is not a problem, but a good opportunity to rethink the system. By now there is an opinion widely shared by producers, namely that the overly frantic pace of presentation of new items was becoming a weak point for the entire market. Unlike fashion, the life cycle of a piece of furniture is certainly not gauged to annual turnover: with the previous rhythms, showrooms had trouble keeping up with the fast pace of models and new creations.

Salvioni Milano Durini
Salvioni Milano Durini

How has the cancellation of the Salone del Mobile impacted your sales and contacts, also on an international level?

Since we opened the showrooms in Milan, the Salone has never been a directly commercial moment for us, but instead an event that focused on promotion in the wider sense of the term. In past years we saw large numbers of visitors in our stores, especially on Via Durini, though it was hard to precisely monitor the returns in terms of sales across the year. More than the lack of the Salone itself, we are concerned about the inevitable drop in the number of international visitors to Milan, throughout the year.

What is the state of the furniture market in Milan?

It’s hard to say. In the month of lockdown there has obviously been a major reduction of sales, and what will happen as the year continues will very probably depend greatly on the developments in the health situation. On the part of clients, we are seeing a lot of interest and a great desire to restart, and if the epidemic can be kept under control there are factors that point to cautious optimism.

Salvioni Milano Durini
Salvioni Milano Durini