Natuzzi rolls out Re-Vive in Milan
Cindy W. Hodnett -- Furniture Today, January 13, 2014
Natuzzi’s Milan showroom offers a dramatic setting for the introduction of the Re-vive chair.
Against the backdrop of Natuzzi's sophisticated contemporary showroom in the heart of Milan, company officials introduced Re-vive, described as a "performance recliner" with more than 120 patents, to a predominantly Italian crowd of several hundred on Dec. 10, punctuating an unprecedented global launch that began in the United States two months earlier.
"Recliner technology hadn't changed in the last 50 years, so we looked to nature for examples of strength, flexibility and multidimensional movement," said Pasquale Natuzzi, chairman and CEO. "With that in mind, we designed the recliner to be able to distribute the weight of the body so it can balance in a neutral position."
Natuzzi collaborated with Formway, a New Zealand furniture design company, on Re-vive, which earned Natuzzi an innovation award at December's Esprit Meuble furniture show in Paris.
This is one of three styles of Re-vive on display at Natuzzi’s Milan showroom.
At both the High Point and Milan launches, a deconstructed Re-vive model was on display, juxtaposing the intricacy of the chair's components against the streamlined profile of the finished product. Guests at both events were invited to try out Re-vive firsthand, a move that led retailer Jim Painter of Contempo Concepts in Winston-Salem, N.C., to place an order for his store after seeing the chair for the first time in High Point.
"I think it adds something new and innovative to the marketplace, and that is what consumers are looking for," Painter said. "I am impressed with the design of the chair and the technology behind it."
Painter said he expects to have Re-vive on his floor in the spring. A longtime Natuzzi retailer, he said he thinks Re-vive is a strong addition to the Natuzzi line that he says offers "Italian design, quality and depth."
Founded in 1959, Natuzzi Group now includes Natuzzi Editions, Natuzzi Italia and a private-label line. In addition to the international launch of Re-vive, Natuzzi is currently working to implement several key business strategies in 2014 to strengthen the company's global position.
"During the worst 10 years of the economy, we have invested hundreds of millions of dollars in our company," Natuzzi said. "We don't have debt and are well capitalized, and now we are focusing on redefining our brand strategy, our product distribution strategy and our supply chain organization. We are implementing our five-year business plan and simplifying our brand approach."
According to company representatives, the simplified branding strategy involves promoting Natuzzi Italia as a whole-home brand of upscale upholstery shown with case goods and accessories in a total home environment.
The Natuzzi Editions branding message is one of upholstery that provides value for the money while offering "Italian flavor and design - our way of doing things," officials said.
Natuzzi’s Milan showroom includes a display of the company’s Natuzzi Italia, a line that promotes a whole-home environment and incorporates case goods and accessories.
Defining the individual brand identities is a key component of the new five-year business strategy, according to officials, as is controlled expansion in emerging markets and the adoption of lean manufacturing practices in Natuzzi's facilities.
Furniture/Today visited Natuzzi's factories in Santeramo, Italy, during the week of the Milan launch. During the tour, Natuzzi's Umberto Bedini explained the changes that are under way on the factory floor.
"You see this is a moving line," Bedini said, pointing out the fluid procession of production lines. "Everything is mobile, and the flow does not stop.
"Our new processes optimize efficiency," he said. "We have created down-to-the-minute steps to production and each step is carefully controlled. This allows us to problem solve and work on any issues that arise in one day versus one week."
The production process for Re-vive is also carefully orchestrated by Natuzzi. Bedini said the company expects to produce between 65 and 130 chairs per day, adding that even the product packaging has been carefully reviewed.
"An engineer designed the packaging for Re-vive following U.S. standards," Bedini said. "There are four pieces in each carton, optimizing our shipping efficiency."
Officials said all of the strategies presented in the five-year plan were designed to help retailers tell the Natuzzi story to consumers.
While the Re-vive brand represents innovation, the total home philosophy behind Natuzzi Italia and the value approach of Natuzzi Editions create a multifaceted marketing approach that allows retailers to offer a Natuzzi product for just about every type of consumer demographic and one that positions the company for expansion, officials said.
"We have succeeded for 55 years and have been listed on the New York Stock Exchange for 20 years," Natuzzi said. "We were a local leather manufacturer and now we are a global group with a clear strategy of where we are going. We know that simplicity is the key to consumers understanding what we have to offer."
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