New concept aims to offer state-of-the-art marketing tools along with new styles and categories
HIGH POINT — Italian leather furniture resource Natuzzi is revamping its retail gallery footprint in a way that combines the best of its brick-and-mortar footprints with tools aimed at helping to promote and sell the product from those floors.
At the October High Point Market, the company is offering a soft launch of its Reimagined Gallery Concept, showcasing a mix of footprints and other aspects of the program that can help retailers achieve major returns from the sale of the Natuzzi Editions line sold in North America.
The company has had a gallery program for more than 15 years. The reimagined gallery program aims to update this not only with new product styles and categories, but also state-of-the art digital marketing tools that offer the best presentation for a storied brand that has since grown beyond upholstery to include dining and bedroom furniture.
Company marketing professionals Daniele Tranchini, Jay Moore and Codrin Coroama recently met with Home News Now through a Zoom call. Coroama, the company’s newly appointed global gallery director, took the lead in explaining the changes taking place.
“With this redefined concept, to which we refer as the Reimagined Gallery Concept, we want to bring forth a flexible, plug-and-play concept adapted to most retailers’ needs, especially post Covid,” he said, noting that there are currently 150 Natuzzi galleries in place in the U.S. and Canada, a number the company expects to grow with the reimagined concept. “It is designed at increasing commercial performance. That is the whole point, helping and supporting our partners being successful and being successful together. … We want to return a little bit of the love that we have received and we want to also play a part now in growing each other’s business — Natuzzi’s business as well as theirs — and that’s how we thought of this concept.”
Coroama said the reimagined gallery footprint is built around eight strategic pillars aimed at sustaining a flexible and adaptable approach not only to showcasing product, but also communicating with consumers in areas from the many customs options available to providing real-time information on the status of their order.
The first pillar is called the Startup Kit, which is aimed at kick-starting or restarting a retailer’s partnership with Natuzzi. It aims to bring the company’s bestselling collections to the dealers’ floors, allowing them to receive product in 30 days from the time of order from the company’s two main warehouses on the East and West Coast.
The package also includes basic marketing platforms and training resources for a store’s sales associates. Key elements of the display include a sales hub showcasing various options in the line, light walls and totems also bearing marketing messages, display bookcases for various accessories, and Venetian dividers to help add depth and dimension to the space.
A second pillar is called Adaptable Sizes that pairs the basic gallery footprints to the needs of the retailer.
“We believe in a world that adapts to the retailers’ needs. The store-within-a-store concept should adapt to the space, not the other way around,” Coroama said.
Hence, there are three size footprints that retailers can choose from, including a 1,200-square-foot option designed to showcase six collections, a 2,000-square-foot option designed to showcase 10 collections and a 3,200-square-foot version for 18 vignettes. All are tailored to accommodate the company’s signature upholstery line, but also can accommodate a dining or bedroom vignette.
The adaptable nature of the concept also allows the retailer to expand their footprint from the small to medium and medium to large size gallery over time, Coroama noted.
“You can pick any of the three sizes,” he said. “We can start with those but then you can also decide to expand … and bring in additional product categories, whether it be dining, sofa-sleepers or reclining chairs. And they are all designed to work in perfect visual harmony.”
The vignettes also are fully accessorized with items ranging from rugs to lamps and other accent items.
The third pillar is what the company calls Showroom Aesthetics. This segment identifies decorative gallery options including various wall paints and accent colors from Sherwin Williams and Benjamin Moore as well as flooring options sourced from Home Depot and Lowe’s. Several color options also are available for display system mood boards, while signage bearing the Natuzzi Editions logo are also available.
Through the use of dividers and bookcase units, the Showroom Aesthetics concept also adds another layer of design and display to the space, transforming vignettes into individual room settings. Such display systems, as Coroama described them, aim to bring the “Natuzzi atmosphere” into the showroom, creating a unique space that speaks to the consumer from how the product looks to how it feels.
“Its scope is to draw in customers with a magnetic allure,” Coroama said.
A sales hub portion of the space showcases the more than 100 fabric and leather options and leg and base options, as well as a 3D configurator that lets customers tailor the color, the size and the number of individual pieces to a particular room in their homes.
“It is really like having the essence of a Natuzzi store in your store,” Coroama said.
Merchandising Mastery is a fourth pillar where the company offers a variety of merchandising strategies that it has tested in its own stores that mix and match product with leather and fabric covers, power motion with stationary pieces, or sectionals with a dining set, showcasing how product can be suited to open floor plans in many homes today. Here, retailers can select various frames based on the size footprint they select and combine them with add-ons such as rugs, pillows, poufs and other accessories.
A fifth pillar called Seamless Synergy integrates the front and the back end of the operations. For example, a tool called the Natuzzi Retail System is designed to communicate the status of an order with a customer.
“It is designed to tell you when the leather or fabric for your product is being cut, when it’s being sewn, when your product is being assembled, when your product is undergoing quality control and when your product is being packaged,” Coroama said. “And you will be able to track all of that from one of our multiple factories around the world to wherever your store might be. We want to provide visibility in tracking, of knowing where you product is, how it is manufactured, how it is assembled, packaged and so forth. These details are very important, and we want to provide 360-degree visibility to all of that.”
This pillar also incorporates what the company calls the Club of World Class Service into the mix, offering tools for the retailer to use as they update their galleries including marketing, sales training, customer care, gallery setup and logistics services. Resources and tools in the package include a gallery operation manual, merchandising guidelines, a digital tools manual and a display system installation manual.
A sixth pillar called Marketing Magic aims to provide marketing materials for key events on the calendar, whether it be Memorial Day, Labor Day or the Fourth of July.
“And for each specific campaign we will have marketing materials, both digital and print as well as in-store communications to coordinate with our partners’ in-store decorations in terms of tagging, tabletop display, signage and window decals,” Coroama said.
The seventh pillar is called the Natuzzi Rewards Program, which recognizes top-performing dealers and salespeople for excellence. The program can include anything from a breakfast or lunch for store management and employees to trips to Italy.
“The Natuzzi Rewards Program will be designed to recognize excellence,” Coroama said. “Pretty much, that’s the point.”
The eighth pillar is called the Digital Backbone. It has a component called D Sales — short for digital sales — that provides salespeople access to a digital portfolio of marketing materials describing every aspect of the product, including features and benefits and the story behind every collection offered. The tool is available on most devices from iPads and phones to desktop computer screens. This tool will be updated regularly to keep the information provided to the dealer current.
It also offers a 3D product configurator featuring an updated product catalog, 3D room configurator and visualization tools and room design rendering capabilities. In addition, there is an ongoing education program called Natuzzi Smart Academy offering comprehensive training modules and other personalized training.
In a presentation explaining the Reimagined Gallery concept along with the eight strategic pillars of the program, company Chairman and founder Pasquale Natuzzi said the Natuzzi Gallery program “transcends mere retail space. It stands as a dedicated shop-in-shop environment meticulously crafted with a singular purpose to envelop clients in the very essence of our brand.”
“The pioneering design of our galleries exudes a contemporary, sophisticated ambience infused with Italian beauty, bringing forth
nature’s organic shapes and colors,” he added. “At the same time, it provides a practical setting for sales associates to engage customers, narrate the captivating Natuzzi story, showcase our products and enhance sales opportunities, leading to a win-win scenario, for both our partners and our company.”
Coroama noted that the company will further explain the reimagined gallery concept to dealers at market, inviting ideas and suggestions on ways to improve the concept.
“High Point for us is a soft launch,” he said. “We are welcoming feedback from our partners as always because we believe as much in listening as we do talking and certainly as of Jan. 1 we will be prepared to roll this out at full speed.”
He added that the program is open to existing partners and new brand partners interested in boosting their sales with the Natuzzi line.
“Our family is large, but there is a lot more space for new members shall they wish to join us and take part in this adventure that’s about to begin,” he said.