Furnishings and objects launch off and travel at full speed
Retail evolution

Furnishings and objects launch off and travel at full speed

From house boats to yachts, Italian-made offerings are the most sought after by lovers of elegance and luxury

If furnishings make the home the quintessential comfortable environment, then this also extends outside the domestic walls, encompassing locations and spaces for relaxation that go beyond the traditional home. From house boats to yachts, objects and furnishings represent an important market niche and the Italian-made products are the most popular, driving the entire sector to great success.   



Italy the world leader in the production of superyachts


From analysis carried out by the Edison Foundation in the sixth edition of The Yachting Sector in Figures Monitor - Market Trends 2023/2024, a statistical report carried out by the Confindustria Nautica Research Office, Italy has cemented its position as the overall leader in the production of superyachts with 51.4% of orders worldwide. In 2023, Italian yacht building exports hit the record figure of 4 billion euros, up 15.9% compared to an already excellent 2022.


Fully 600 yachts were commissioned and/or under construction, amounting to a total of over 22,000 linear metres. Some way behind Italy was Turkey (with 132 yachts under construction, equal to 6,000 meters in total) and the Netherlands (80 yachts and almost 5,000 meters commissioned), completing the top three positions in the world.


The scenario is marked by growth involving the entire range of industries that revolve around the sector.



Lombardi: “We need to know how to convey the quality of Italian design and manufacture”


“Italian manufacturing always comes out on top, it is synonymous with reliability and quality. Even shopping in Italy has a completely different feel to it," explains Guido Lombardi, commercial director of the historic Viareggio store now in its fourth generation.



Can you summarise your typical customer?


“They are wealthy, but much simpler than in the past. To be clear, that doesn't mean that they are less demanding, but rather than looking for particular details they are seeking discreet luxury. Our target customer base is very large and diversified: it ranges from Brazil to the United States, and from Russia and Japan to the Middle East. What such distant markets with disparate tastes and trends share is their demand for Italian products and accessories. We go further – we don't just sell the items displayed in the shop window or in the catalogue. We provide a service, we assist the customer at every stage, guiding them in choosing the most suitable solutions. The yachting industry is a niche segment, which requires a close rapport between the seller and the customer to create a relationship based on harmony and trust."



Attention to detail is important but is not enough on its own


“One of the keys to our success is the dynamic style that has always been our hallmark. The customer must be supported, pampered even, helped in making choices that increase their level of satisfaction. You have to know how to interpret the consumer's desires, and to do that you need to propose high-end, elegant and refined solutions – modern but also with a retro style. If Italian design and manufacturing is synonymous with beauty and a well-made product, the added value consists in knowing how to convey that quality.


“From refrigerators to dishwashers, from leather shoe baskets and towel holders to interior and exterior furnishings through to fabrics for bed and bathroom sets made with decorations and embroidery designed for yachts, design and attention to detail are the hallmarks of Lombardi's offerings.


“Yacht customers are not seeking personalised services, they want practicality and elegance, comfort and refinement. Identifying their needs is key, and this is one of the reasons why we don’t sell online. The online channel is difficult to reconcile with the world of luxury. Consulting implies direct contact, satisfying the customer’s needs and requirements takes in-depth knowledge that can only be developed through listening and direct dialogue."



How important is it to attend exhibitions like Milano Home?


“Exchanging views with retailers and interior designers is fundamental and, when designed properly, exhibitions are an effective way to bring the various market operators together. It is a beneficial showcase built around all the players in the supply chain, but exhibitors shouldn’t use it as a ‘shop open to the public’: if you’re talking, you’re not buying".



Rebelo: “Italian brands are also popular in Portugal”


Companies are riding the wave in Portugal too. The Iberian country, located at the southwestern tip of Europe, with 832 km of Atlantic coastline, boasts marinas equipped with excellent equipment and services.


“Our strength lies in providing customers with the best solutions for interior and exterior decoration together with a highly professional service,” says Tânia Rebelo, sales manager of Motor Yachts Portugal/Azimut Yachts Algarve.


A sort of “one-stop shop” includes an active and dedicated production department in the heart of Vilamoura Marina, considered one of the best marinas in the world.


“From personalised outdoor pouffes – the perfect complement to furnish a yacht simply and elegantly – to candlesticks made with a glass base and finished in imitation leather, a classic object offered in a range of four colours to give the environment a touch of class and romanticism, the range of solutions meets the needs and demands of a market seeking novelty."



Are Italian design and Italian-made yachting accessories the most sought after?


“Italian brands enjoy undoubted added value.  To name just a few that come to mind, there are the table collections by designer Mario Luca Giusti, the elegant and contemporary design of Paolo Castelli, the range of accessories by Foresti&Suardi, the refined finishes and sophisticated fabrics of Armani Casa and the original and creative ideas that inspire Guzzini products. For those who operate in a segment where luxury and good taste are so widespread, it is essential to offer top-tier names from Italy to your customers."