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An interview with export manager Giuseppe Gagliardi from Egoitaliano

'2024 is going to be a challenging year, but we are ready for growth'

Egoitaliano, born in Matera in 2007, stands as a testament to Italian craftsmanship and design. Specialising in the creation of vibrant, colourful and customisable sofas and armchairs, Egoitaliano has established itself in the global market. In an interview with Export Manager Giuseppe Gagliardi we dive into the company’s journey and dynamics.

‘I have been with the company since it was founded in 2007. During that period, many Italian companies opted to relocate their production sites from Italy to Eastern Europe or the Far East to cut labour costs. Egoitaliano was founded with the belief that there was a niche in the furniture market for a genuinely Italian product, hence the name Egoitaliano (Italian Ego). Initially, the plan was to manufacture everything in Italy exclusively for the domestic market. However, we soon realised that our collection held immense potential for international markets,’ Giuseppe says.

Egoitaliano’s initial distribution efforts targeted French-speaking countries, including Belgium and France, followed by expansion into the UK and the USA. Currently, 50% of their turnover comes from international markets. Over the span of 12 to 13 years, the company underwent significant transformations. Beginning as specialists in leather products, they observed a shift in the market towards fabric. Presently, half of their business comes from leather, and the other half from fabric.

‘In addition to product diversification, we are actively working on building a unique value proposition for our brand. Egoitaliano is evolving into a recognised brand, renowned for its vibrant use of colour in both leather and fabric products. Our sofas stand out with distinctive colours, ranging from electric blue to pink, green, and more,’ Giuseppe explains

The company has even doubled the size of their production facility in Matera last year. ‘We are going to have a permanent showroom, where all of our bestsellers and new launches will be permanently on show for B2B customers. Also, we are going to launch an academy to train people willing to work in the industry.’

The iconic Nefele sofa by Egoitaliano.

‘The year 2023 posed significant challenges for us. Although we had a strong start, the global market experienced a downturn in April, particularly when compared to the prosperous conditions in the pandemic. But we have to consider that the dynamics during the pandemic and post-pandemic years differ. Throughout the pandemic, people refrained from extensive travel and dining out, resulting in increased expenditures on home-related items, especially mattresses and sofas. The growth we witnessed during the pandemic years was abnormal, making the comparison with 2023 complex.

'When reflecting on the last "normal" year in 2019, 2023 proved to be a more favourable period for us. Our core business remains robust, supported by a loyal customer base. Our ability to navigate the challenges of the pandemic and post-pandemic era demonstrates effective management practices. Now, we are ready for renewed growth.’

Future outlook
‘2024 is going to be a challenging year. We know that the economic and market landscape won’t be easy, just like in the second half of 2023. However, we are prepared to confront these challenges by intensifying our investments in marketing and sales.’ Aside from further investing in their brand identity, Egoitaliano is also participating in the China International Furniture Fair in Guangzhou for the first time, aiming to establish a robust network not only in China but throughout the Far East, including South Korea, Singapore, and Hong Kong, where they are already active.

‘In terms of product demand, we observe a growing interest in fabric, coupled with a heightened emphasis on achieving the right price-quality ratio. That’s why we have started to introduce a collection that combines well-designed products with aesthetic appeal, ensuring affordability from a pricing perspective.’

In addition the company is investing in customisation of products. ‘We aim to meet their desire for unique sofas by offering them the opportunity to personalise every aspect of the product. This includes customisation options for colour, stitching, legs, and even sizes – where we have implemented a program allowing centimetre-level customisation of sofa width. Our strategy is aligned with evolving market preferences, making our product offerings more collectable and catering to the discerning needs of consumers.’

More information:
Via Vincenzo Alvino,
Zona Industriale La Martella
75100 Matera (MT)
+39 0835382096
[email protected]