Luxury furniture retailer implements long term transformation strategy

Sarah Bianchi and Kate Hardcastle

Following an 18-month consultation on transformation plans, furniture and home furnishings retailer, Arighi Bianchi, is marking its 170th anniversary with a new growth strategy.

The historic retailer was established in 1854 by Antonio Arighi and Antonio Bianchi, and the pair chose the famous silk town of Macclesfield in Cheshire to introduce their native Lake Como chic to the UK.

The retailer has now been run by five generations, surviving world wars, pandemics and countless recessions making it one of the longest established family-run independent retailers in the UK.

The transformative strategy is based on intensive market and consumer analysis. It said nothing was out of bounds within the strategy and it encompasses the complete evolution of product, e-commerce, store experience, as well as the look and feel of the Arighi Bianchi corporate identity.

The senior management team. led by fourth generation family member Sarah Bianchi, deliberately looked beyond the interiors industry, to see how the world’s best lifestyle offers achieve success and observing that great brands don’t just sell – they build communities and foster genuine relationships with consumers.

An Arighi Bianchi showroom

CEO, Sarah Bianchi, said: “It’s a staggering achievement to think we have been around for 170 years, however, now isn’t the time to rest on our laurels. Evolution has always been central to Arighi Bianchi’s success. We spent the last 18 months looking both inside and outside the business to ensure that this amazing legacy continues.”

She added: “We’ve been helping people make their house a home for nearly two centuries and our standout product offer has always been central to this and will continue to be. However, what we have learned is that today’s consumers are looking for more from brands than just great products, it’s about inspiration, curation, ease of shop, stand out customer service, value and events that help to build a community they feel part us.”

The new strategy involves a major refresh of the complete ground floor of the iconic Macclesfield Grade II-listed showroom, with new contemporary room sets – this is also complemented by a new accessories department. The second floor cafe has also been given a chic new makeover.

A comprehensive in-store events programme, covering fashion shows, cookery classes, reflexology sessions, scent explorations with a luxury perfumier, champagne and cocktail pop ups and further wellness activities, is also proposed.

The retailer has also re-launched its website.

Last month the retailer unveiled a new accessories department, which is intended to complement its extensive luxury furniture suppliers which include Cattelan Italian and Calligaris and drive engagement with new shopper audiences.

A new marketing campaign is launching for spring 2024, another first, which will showcase the most-coveted global style and ‘how to get the look’ from destinations around the world, including Beverly Hills and Sicily.

Arighi Bianchi has worked with acclaimed retail brand expert, Kate Hardcastle, who has offered strategic guidance around the new commercial growth strategy.