One of the oldest firms in the North West is planning a major shake-up of its business.
Furniture and home furnishings retailer Arighi Bianchi is expanding on several fronts as it looks to diversify in line with the changing retail landscape.
The Macclesfield firm is also looking to close its exiting three warehouses and move distribution to one purpose-built facility.
Arighi Bianchi, which is one of the oldest family-owned furniture business in the UK, with the third and fourth generations at the helm, is focusing on online sales growth and is eyeing a roll-out of its successful café-bar concept.
Arighi Bianchi was founded in 1854 by Italian cabinet makers Antonio Arighi and Antonio Bianchi. Today the company employs nearly 170 staff.
The £20m-turnover company is also responding to meet increasing demand from younger shoppers and from Britons seeking to furnish their overseas holiday homes.
Director Nick Bianchi says: “The store is full of interesting items, has a touch of charm and is a bit quirky. We pride ourselves on being a place of interest where people can come and visit, browse and shop.” Nick says the store competes with high street chains such as Next and DFS as well as the luxury segment of the market.“We are seeing growth in sales among younger customers, and the internet is a factor in this,” he says. Nick says: “Furniture ordered for overseas destinations is shipped by container. Our drivers meet the container at the port in one of our vans and provide a white glove delivery service. It’s a growing part of our business.”