Design Talk: Febal Casa by Al Shamsi
We interview the CEO Giovanni Vacchi on the opening of its first store in the UAE
Words by Aneesha Rai in Design & Architecture · Nov 30th, 2021
Febal Casa is part of the Colombini Group with over 50 years producing Italian design. We speak to the CEO Giovanni Vacchi on the opening of its first store in the UAE and the group's plans for expansion as well as the latest trends in interiors to look out for.
Q: How has the Colombini Group evolved in the past year?
Vacchi: Colombini Group was founded in 1965 by Giuseppe Colombini and his two brothers Ivo and Elio, and has its roots in a family that has its corporate mission in quality furniture production. The story began in a carpentry workshop that became a warehouse, then a factory and today a large industry known internationally.
Today, we have about a 1,000 employees and 250,000 square meters of production area in four factories in San Marino, with highly automated just-in-time production. The production process is fully vertically integrated from the purchase of raw materials to the finished product. We have a large distribution network consisting of over 4,000 retailers and about 200 mono-brand stores around the world. About 85% of the Group's sales are made in Italy and 15% abroad, mainly in Europe, the Middle East, China and America.
Q. Has the demand from the Middle East evolved the direction of the brand? Tell us more about your brand partnership with Al Shamsi.
Vacchi: Our strategic plan envisages growth in foreign markets, such as Middle East. We are proud of our partnership with Al Shamsi, one of the main players in the market that boasts a long history like Colombini Group, and is committed to provide the industry with quality products, regular research & development of materials and accurate design, in order to satisfy the different tastes of our valued customers.
Q. Are there any recurring themes/trends in interiors you've seen that have grown more popular over the past year?
Vacchi: Home interiors are getting hybrid and multifunctional. Due to the pandemic, we have worked from home and we had to spend time in a more or less spacious single room.
The kitchen is the most important space, one of the places where we spent a long time during the pandemic. We have listened carefully to the new needs of our customers and with Febal Casa we are able to offer solutions for multifunctional environments made to last over time and above all to meet the different needs of use. In the kitchen for instance we have introduced new systems with snack shelves, which can easily be used as versatile worktops.
The living areas will be both convivial places and home offices, and also a space to relax. The furniture has increasingly adapted for creating an ideal workspace in a home environment. Febal Casa AGIO collection is an example of this.
Q: What are your favourite pieces/concepts at Febal Casa?
Vacchi: In the future, a home must have the right mix of technology/ home automation and comfort. Some technological solutions can be integrated into the furnishings. We have developed, for example, a cabinet with integrated sanitizer. It is an innovative and certified device that monitors the quality of the air and can reduce any harmful agents inside the wardrobe. The ERA (01) kitchen, which features a sliding countertop that increases the work surface, can easily be turned into a handy breakfast space. The DICIOTTO system from GIORNO collection is synonymous with practicality, versatility and functionality, creating ever-changing compositions thanks to the wide range of modular elements. For example, the panelling is enhanced by the bottle rack which allows you to create your very own wine display in your living room.
Q: What's next for Colombini Group ? Any new projects/expansion plans that you'd like to share with us?
Vacchi: We want to keep our leadership in the market so we must be able to anticipate market trends, we must continue to invest in technology and innovation to keep up with the times, we must produce high quality furniture and guarantee speed and quality of services. Growth through acquisitions is also part of our strategic plan: we have the ambition to become a reference point in the furniture field in Italy, both in terms of size and breadth of the offer. We have recently acquired Bontempi Casa (leader in the production of tables, chairs, consoles and desks) and we are studying more than one dossier to close other transactions soon.
All images courtesy Febal Casa