“Our wealth is our continuous research and collaboration with artists and craftsmen who are the custodians of an incredible variety of activities handed down through generations.” The secret of success of the Casimiro concept store told to MILANO HOME directly by the owner Marco Merola
The only constant is change. In order to tell the story of Casimiro, the concept store in Reggio Emilia, you have to start with Heraclitus and then brush up on Darwin, when he states that it is not the strongest species that survives, but the one which is most responsive to change.
And there have been many changes in the home decoration and retail sector since Marco Merola, the owner, left the world of high-end fashion to open his own shop and put on display, more than 20 years ago, the Teste di Moro made by the craftsmen of Caltagirone.
“The fact that we came from the fashion world certainly gave the business a different feel from the start – explained Merola –. In fashion, you have to constantly come up with new things, products, ideas, suggestions, and this is what we always did.” Each season we present a different showcase and assortment: “we change colours and furnishings and we create themed shelves inside the shop, which we set up by meticulously searching the right objects to display.”
What makes you original and unique today?
“Our wealth is our continuous research and collaboration with artists and craftsmen who are the custodians of an incredible variety of activities handed down through generations. We select mostly excellences of made in Italy and lately we also noticed a great return to the classic Italian style, because today customers need security and beauty.
We define ourselves as a research shop. We recently opened a new shop exclusively dedicated to signature fragrances, Casimiro Essenze. In order to be consistent with our project, for this new store we selected only new emerging brands that we wish to bring to the customers' attention. But we don't just present a product on the shelf: every Saturday we organise 'Olfactory Aperitifs' to tell customers about fragrances through a sensory experience.”
How do you make your customers feel special and how important are space and relationships?
“Our space is constantly changing. We are always telling new stories and presenting new products that are consistent with our values and style. We create continuous opportunities to attract customers to the shop. For years, for example, we have been setting up - not without difficulty due to supply issues - the Christmas showcase after Ferragosto (mid-August) and, by now, in Reggio Emilia, coming to see how Christmas is interpreted and anticipated by Casimiro after the summer holidays has become a town attraction.
We also put great emphasis on service customisation. We launched a concierge service that allows customers to have private visits to the shop by reserving an appointment at any time. We also involve customers with the Casimiro&Friends project: a way to feel part of a community and receive all our news. The interaction with customers takes place in the shop and on digital channels: especially WhatsApp, which allows us to forge more personalised relationships. We strongly believe in the value of omnichannel and especially after the pandemic we noticed that those who chose to stay only on the Internet have lost a lot in customer relations. Today, after seeing a product on the Internet, customers need to see the it in the shop.”
Is there a moment, an idea, an episode that made the real difference between what you were yesterday and what you are today as a shop? In other words, what was the spark that made you evolve and continues to energise your versatility and creativity?
“Fashion is a constant source of inspiration, together with the quality and excellence of Italian products. However, the spark that further accelerated our activity came with Covid. We spent the first month of the pandemic with death in our hearts. Then we rolled up our sleeves and redesigned our business, studied new products, found more effective ways to interact with customers.
Some time ago all it took to be successful was to launch a good idea. Now you have to reinvent yourself every day.