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Bialetti takes the road of foreign markets with Home&Coffee flagship stores

by  Giovanna Mancini

Bialetti, the historic brand of Italian coffee aims to reinforce its presence abroad and takes the road of flagship stores. The first countries that the Brescia-based company is looking at are the ones that share Italy’s culture and taste for espresso: France - where the holding company has been operating in part through a sales division for the past twenty years - and Spain.

The first flagship stores under the name “Bialetti Home & Coffee” are opening in Nice and Madrid and they will offer not only the core business products connected to coffee, but also home textiles and table and kitchen items. “In Italy we have approximately 128 flagship stores, of which twenty or so adopt this format,” says Roberto Ranzoni, marketing director and member of Bialetti Industrie group’s Board of Directors. “We decided to export only this format,” he adds.

A kind of “broadened assortment” to be presented to customers in new spaces with precise dimensions (greater than 120 sqm) and precise locations (in shopping centers or city centers). This is because, Ranzoni further explains, unlike Italy, the sale of household goods abroad is largely exclusive to large-scale retail and therefore “we are convinced that there is space for a distinct commercial offering, like the one that we propose with our Home&Coffee stores.”

Nice and Madrid will work as tests to then organize and model future openings upon. The results of the first two months of activity, the company from Brescia explains, are “greater than the expectations.” For 2016, the development plan calls for the consolidation of the French and Spanish markets, in addition to the spread throughout the Italian territory, with flagship store openings in every province. With regards to its foreign presence, Ranzoni clarifies, “the number of new stores will depend on the occasions that present themselves, considering that they require quite specific criteria.” The idea is to open ten or so stores per country and bring the Bialetti brand into cities like Paris, Barcelona, Valencia, and Seville.

The growth of Bialetti’s distribution network is strategic for the relaunch of the company, which for years has had to deal with a burdensome debt situation, but which has closed the first nine months of the year with a 9% growth in consolidated turnovers (€114 million), driven precisely by the “excellent results of the flagship stores.”

Thirty new stores have been opened in Italy between January and September 2015. Even sales abroad (approximately 28% of turnovers) are going well, guarantees Ranzoni, with good results especially in the American market, from which the company expects a further growth this year. At the moment Bialetti is present worldwide through a network of multi brand stores, with investments that in recent years that have especially affected the Asia-Pacific area, from China to Australia.