Colombini: from hotel rooms to a complete range for the World Market
This is an exemplar story, which tells how, with careful management and daring choices, a company founded to support summer tourism in the boom years has become, over time, a small industrial giant with branches in Europe, China and in the United States. Colombini‘s adventure started in Falciano, in the Republic of San Marino, a short distance from Rimini. It was a short distance from Rimini. It was the early ’60s: making furniture for hotel rooms, the company became well known along the Riviera, from Ravenna to the Marches.
“It was what started us on the road to becoming a full scale industry capable of reinvesting both in new prod-nets and markets”. Emmanuel Colombini C.E.O. represents the second generation: his father and two uncles were the founders of the company. Today, the young manager heads a large group: 150 million Euros in sales, a thousand employees, about 120 single-brand stores around the World (the most important being in New York, Shangai, Madrid, Paris, Stockholm) together with about five thousand multibrand stores. This is a working philosophy that has adapted according to each market.
“In Italy we are still leaders in furniture for individual rooms – explain the C.E.O. – but, starting from there, over the last few years we have aimed at horizontally developing the entire range for the home: sofas, accessories, upholstered furniture. Two years ago we bought an important brand, Febal, which has allowed us to expand our range into a strategic field like kitchen furniture”. Whatever the desired field, Colombini’s working criteria are quite clear. “In the meantime we are trying to promote Italian design, which is recognized as valuable abroad: for this reason we have ten architecture studios working for us continuously, and are promoting new competitions for ideas with new designers. We are also inspired by the concept of lean production, trying to find product accessibility: meaning that we offer a product with service – service on demand – but with a strongly productive and therefore trustworthy industry standing behind us”.
Even the market target is well-defined. “We are aiming at less specialized clientele, compared to other well-known Italian brands. Rather we are trying to combine fantasy and creativity in the design of a product that has a good price: nowadays clients are thinking about design solutions that are current, that are adapted to real-life needs and living conditions”.
Although these are the characteristics of most of our range, there is one product hat goes above all this: “this is the Rossana brand kitchens, a prestigious brand that we purchased together with Febal – concludes Colombini -. It is the flag of the group: a different challenge, that is relative in the terms of sales but is giving us great satisfaction at the quality and, most especially, at the image level”.
Novembre 2011 PLATINUM – Sole 24 Ore