An almost centennial furnishings brand, with the essence of Italian design. That grows up with international expansion

Alessandro Calligaris

Alessandro Calligaris

Italy-France round-trip with the world as the final destination. Calligaris is a major player in the Italian furniture industry. In 2007 L Capital – a private equity fund of LVMH group – had acquired a 40% stake, which the Calligaris family bought back in 2014. The history of this company is a story about courage and citizenship.

The story of an almost century-old brand that has become the symbol of Italian design, and the foresight of those who saw the acquisition as an opportunity to grow beyond national borders to be able to run faster with a stronger management structure grown with the experience with global markets. «Our development strategy, launched in 2008 with our first flagship store in Milan, and based on brand, retail, and internationalisation, has ensured great results even during the crisis, thanks to important events in Italy and abroad that have consolidated our brand worldwide», said chairman, Alessandro Calligaris.  

The group based in Manzano (Udine) keeps an eye on the international markets without ever forgetting its roots. Today, it boasts a turnover of EUR 115 million, with a 65% export share and a wide range of products that covers the entire furnishing universe, from chairs to lighting. Its tagline, «Italian smart design», summarises the brand’s essence, i.e. beautiful, versatile, and ergonomic products made in a workmanlike manner and designed to simplify your everyday life. A selective distribution with dealers in over 90 countries, more than 70 single-brand shops, 155 shop in shops, and 324 galleries. «In 2015, we continued our retail expansion by opening flagship stores in London (Tottenham Court Road) and Berlin (Mitte), and stores in Washington, London Chiswick, Manila, and Baku. We aim at increasing the number of partner dealers by the end of 2016, with a growth in revenue on sales from 42 to 50%», explained Calligaris.

«Even our in-house Contract Furniture division is achieving great results. This division specialises in loose furniture and Ff&E and is responsible for the projects in the Horeca sector. It supports customers from the choice of the items to the arrangement of the room layout and provides after-sales service». Calligaris Contract has already furnished bars, restaurants, wellness centres, museums, conference centres, and hotels worldwide.

A growth made possible by investments in production (eight plants in Italy and abroad and subsidiaries in USA, Japan, France, Great Britain, Germany, and Russia), distribution, and web channels. The e-commerce system is a perfect example. Whoever purchases online will receive support from the outlets in the area, which, depending on the customer’s domicile, become the direct reference for delivery, assembly, after-sales, and warranty. The synergy between R&D and the style centre has created practical and functional furnishing solutions, which are the result of a long design and prototyping process.

All products feature a clean design and high-quality natural materials. The 2016 novelties (tables and chairs, elegant upholstered chairs, sofas with simple yet rigorous lines, living room and bedroom cabinets, home office tables and desks, etc.) reflect the contemporary living trends and summarise the technical and formal research that defines the company’s philosophy. This philosophy finds its perfect expression in the Calligaris Code project, which involves accessories designed by young Italian designers to encourage that precious and rare complicity between creativity and production.