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RINTAL AND «PRIMA», THE FAMOUS MADE-TO-MEASURE STAIRCASE
How long does it take to become a leading company in the world market for staircases, exhibiting design flair, quality and organizational skill? For the Italian company Rintal , just over three decades was long enough to radically change our perception of the staircase, transforming it from a functional architectural item into a personalized design component. As the Rintal spokesman explained: “Our mission as a company was precisely this: to become the point of reference for everybody who believes quality of living is an essential element in daily life.” And with this in mind the company has consistently endeavoured to come up with new solutions, to satisfy not just practical needs but also a wish for design quality.
The history of Rintal divides neatly into two phases. In its early years the company was the standard-bearer in Italy for the modular system, which incorporated interchangeable modular components into the design, allowing one to make changes over time according to taste. In this way the staircase was transformed into a furnishing accessory which was unique, exclusive and easily personalized. The innovative nature of the product led to a constant rise in demand and required the creation of an increasingly sophisticated sales network throughout Italy. At the moment, the majority of the 100 stores in the Rintal network are single-brand, although there are also agents with exclusive rights.
The second phase in the history of the company occurred quite recently, with the decision to collaborate with the world-famous industrial designer, Giugiaro. As the company spokesman pointed out: “This move was certainly a novelty within our sector, and something which gave us a competitive edge.” The collaboration with Giugiaro Architettura resulted in the creation of “Prima”, the famous staircase which is remarkable for its innovative form, outline and use of materials. In the creation of the Prima staircase Rintal made use of aluminium for the first time, shaping it into modules which can be adapted to any type of space, allowing one to create, for example, either a straight or a spiral staircase.
“The collaboration with Giugiaro has definitely given us very satisfying results”, said the company spokesman. “After Prima, we are hoping for further success with a new project we are working on which will allow us to see staircases in a revolutionary new way, giving our customers opportunities to create exclusive design solutions”. However, the company will not only be focusing on big names. Rintal also intends to take a gamble with younger people: “We are considering various possible initiatives for launching new faces into the design world”.
Rintal has strong roots in the domestic market and operates abroad through direct subsidiaries and qualified distributors. “Italy is still our most important market at the moment”, explained the company representative, “and this is thanks to the activity of our direct sales network, which allows us to offer a full range of services to our customers. Our pre- and post-sales service, in particular, and the fact that we are always available to respond to any queries or problems that may arise are a form of guarantee that only the top players can offer”. On the export front, the countries of central Europe constitute a strategic area, now contributing about 20% to the company’s turnover. “We are now planning to enter markets outside Europe”, explained the company spokesman.