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TRADITION, DESIGN AND INNOVATION: THE HALLMARK OF FURNITURE BY B&B ITALIA
On the one hand there is the history and tradition of Italian design, while on the other is the search for innovation and an eye to the future. It is this winning combination that has spelt out success for the company B&B Italia. Founded in 1966 as a result of the good business sense and shrewd intuition of the charismatic Piero Ambrogio Busnelli, it has developed over the years to become a world leader in the sector. We asked the heirs to the business, Giorgio and Emanuele Busnelli, recently returned to managing the company, what it is that makes B&B different from other competitors on the international market, and what plans they have for the future.
What is the added value of an industrial group like yours?
We represent an unusual entity in this sector, as we are really a design industry. The dedication of B&B Italia to research and innovation is shown in a collection of furniture which represents an important part of the history of Italian design. We use a winning combination of creativity, innovation and manufacturing capacity to create products which are both timeless and lasting. The nerve centre of the company is its internal Research and Development Department, which functions as a real workshop for the meeting of ideas and cultural experiences. This is strongly supported by our collaboration with talented international designers, such as Antonio Citterio, Patricia Urquiola, Zaha Hadid, Gaetano Pesce, Naoto Fukasawa, Jeffrey Bernett, and many more.
What differentiates B&B Italia from other competitors on the international market?
B&B Italia was created with a strong international drive. It has gained its position of leadership thanks to a strategy which focuses intently on research and innovation, and this has made it something of a reference model for the furniture design sector.
How is the company positioned in the foreign markets?
B&B Italia now has stores in the heart of the world’s most important cities (Milan, London, Paris, Munich, New York, Chicago, and Tokyo). It has more than 18 mono-brand outlets internationally and has signed commercial agreements with the most influential players in 54 countries, to establish a presence in more than 750 specialist stores.
Is there an overseas market not yet explored that could offer you an opportunity in the future?
B&B Italia has an ambitious strategy for developing the business in those markets which are not just growing in economic terms but are also acquiring the sort of taste which can appreciate the design of our products (such as China and India).
What does the recent “return home” of the family business represent? What does the future hold for B&B Italia?
In very difficult times such as these, our operation provides a real example of how Italian entrepreneurship is still alive and well. This operation allowed us to regain full control and to ensure continuity and growth for B&B in the future. It takes courage and vision nowadays to maintain a leading role in business. The recovery will doubtless be achieved by a greater push towards creativity and innovation, to produce those unique qualities that our products represent.