Fascinating and complex, the world of contract projects has become a priority channel for many companies, to boost growth on foreign markets. This is the case of Aran World, an active protagonist in this sector on an international level, especially in the USA.
From supplying kitchens for high-end residences (in apartment buildings and towers) to the addition of lines of bathroom furnishings, the company has gradually expanded its solutions, extending to wardrobe cabinets and walk-in closets, all the way to the living area. Without neglecting to mention office furnishing collections, thanks to the brand Newform, which is part of the group.
Growth in the sector and therefore in its offerings finds a response in the ability of Aran World to interpret a clear trend, especially abroad: the idea of providing clients with complete homes (starting with the main features, such as kitchens and bathrooms) or turnkey projects that provide a wide range of options for personalization. These initiatives are made possible by the large production structure of the group, and the presence of an in-house technical division specializing in contract projects.
Over the last two years the increased presence in international projects and the company’s specialization in this field have led to further honing of its approach, to achieve greater efficiency: “With the growth we have experienced in contract, not just in the USA – our strong suit – but also in the rest of the world – we have grown in China, South America, the Middle East and the Far East, from Taiwan to Korea, and Australia – we realized that it was necessary to separate the contract operations from the retail channels, creating a specific division – says Vincenzo Romanelli, inside Aran since 1997 as Sales Director, and now in charge of the Contract Division. – Previously the projects were carried out in collaboration with our clients and retail partners. Instead, we needed to directly take the field, and for us this was the main change: whereas previously we turned above all to our dealers, now we come into direct contact with the general contractor or the developer, so we can control the entire process from A to Z, guaranteeing constant flow.”
The path began last year with the implementation of new offices with their own location inside the headquarters, making the new corporate approach clear on an architectural level as well. The next step was the reinforcement of the team, with the creation of Aran Spazio Contract in Milan, inside the showroom at Porta Nuova and directed by Stefano Bergamini.
“This is a space open mainly to professionals, allowing us to reach our counterparts in a much more immediate way – says Romanelli. – Wagering on Milan was an important choice, because it brings out focus back to the Italian territory, where the project scenario is changing: we are finally seeing the rise, in Milan and other big Italian cities, of a trend towards developers who carry out the entire project, allowing buyers to have spaces in which the furnishings have already been specified and installed.”
Aran Spazio Contract, slated to officially open in the days to come, will thus become a model that can also be exported to other countries: “We intend to create permanent structures in key nations, obviously including the United States, where the retail spaces will exist parallel to the showrooms, also not at street level, with a focus on interaction with professionals.”
Places, people, tools (also digitalization and technological implementation are part of the plan of growth and specialization) are the key points of a strategy put in place by Aran World in response to a very positive trend in the contract market (in spite of the global slowdown of the last two years), where the group is active on multiple fronts.
“Our force lies in the possibility of providing a complete multi-product package (we are developing partnerships to also supply upholstered furniture and lighting) that is also multichannel, diversified in terms of target: from high-end ultra-luxury residential to buildings of average size… and the same is true of the field of hospitality. For example, we have just completed a prestigious project of 100 units on Fifth Avenue in New York, and at the same time a project for 350 units in Switzerland. We are quoting on a large number of projects that are very different from each other, and this would indicate that the contract sector has rebounded well from the pandemic, even accelerating – obviously in the countries where the health situation makes this possible.”
The outlook for the future, then, is one of (cautious) optimism. “We have invested heavily in this strategy, believing in what we are doing, and we have created a structure with a clear mission. While in the past our contract operations had ups and downs, now we intend to make them stable, raising our operations to higher levels at the same time.”