With the appearance of furniture low cost The design world is not what it used to be, and Barcelona Design, the iconic furniture producer and publisher founded in 1972 by various artists from Divine Left – Tusquets, Regàs, Clotet, Bonet … – changes its course by betting heavily on the sale of furniture to companies.
“It’s not the same for the development of benches one by one like the 400 x 400. The work, of course, is much larger,” says Jordi Arnau, general manager of the company, which also exploits the work of Antoni Gaudí and Salvador Dali.
The company exploits pieces by artists such as Dalí, Gaudí, Tusquets, Regàs, Clotet or Bonet
The company has created a special division that focuses on projects designed specifically for companies, especially in the field of offices, hotels and restaurants. His most recent projects include equipment for the main stand for the Lord’s Pavilion cricket ground in London, which was founded in 1787. “It is the largest project we have achieved and has generated an income of half a million euros. We also just got an office design for a pharmaceutical company in Switzerland.”
With these and other projects, sales to businesses have gone from representing 20% to 40% of sales in just one year, and the idea is that over the medium term, the business division will have a weight of 70%. Arnau comments that the total turnover reached 3 million euros in 2020, which is a consistent figure compared to previous years. This year it is expected to reach 4 million with this division withdrawing to businesses as well as sales to individuals, which are especially growing in Asia.
In fact, the CEO also highlights the strong internationalization of the company. “90% of the income actually comes from abroad, especially from China, South Korea, Australia, Thailand, Switzerland, the UK or Italy.”
The strategy of becoming known worldwide is increasingly digital. In fact, two years ago, the company closed the offices it had opened in London and Hong Kong because they were not sustainable. “Online marketing has become more and more effective since the arrival of the pandemic, which wiped out the fairs we used to attend,” Arnau says.
The company’s business model is based on its own design, originating from about forty artists from all over the world, and on production subcontracted to a network of one hundred workshops located in Catalonia. In the offices located in the Poblenou district, the company employs about twenty people. The property remains in the hands of the founders, who handed over management to Arnau.
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