The relaunch of Alessi is not only a story of beauty, but also a parable of the responsibility of a historic entrepreneurial family. The Alessi family, now in its fourth generation, has not hesitated to share ownership with a new partner, the Oakley Capital fund, and a new Chief Executive Officer, for a big brand relaunch.
"Life is made of beautiful encounters" says Daniel Talens, CEO of Alessi, recounting his first meeting with Alberto Alessi, the owner of one of the most famous brands of Made in Italy, which has created thousands of objects, many of which have become icons of contemporary design.
Founded in 1921 between Lake Maggiore and Lake Orta, in Crusinallo di Omegna, Alessi is a century-old company synonymous of style, present in 50 of the most famous museums in the world, including the MoMA in New York, the Pompidou in Paris and the Victoria&Albert Museum in London.
Despite the extraordinary legacy of celebrity and beauty, four years ago, few would have bet that Alessi would survive the financial crisis it was going through so brilliantly. Instead, beauty won out.
Everything that could go right, went more than right. "In 2020, the company became cash-flow positive again" Talens explains, "in the months that followed, we started growing again by hiring 61 new people, in 2021 we achieved some great results, and now we don't want to stop."
Talens says: "I started an exciting job. What struck me about Alberto was his vision, his listening, his discretion. It is thanks to him and his family that Alessi is already worldwide. My task? To make it grow. In a way it's easy: you just go to the company museum and look around."
But what is the new strategy? Following Alberto Alessi's mission, the goal is to improve people's lives through the Alessi objects, bringing art and poetry and combining excellence and beauty at a reasonable price. In short: democratizing design and aiming at the future.
E-commerce has a key role in the new strategic plan, based on 3 pillars: product, communication and distribution.
"On this basis, we applied all our expertise to grow the desire for our product again, and we succeeded. Our items exist to stay with us over time. We are commited to our founding values and we do a lot of activities to find a balance to help the planet. It's no coincidence that we're B Corp certified and that Alessi has become a Benefit Society. One of the things that makes me smile" Talens continues, "is when people ask me what transformation means, I say: for Alessi, it's not a strategy, but the logical continuation of 100 years of caring at the highest levels, for employees, territory and suppliers."
illimity’s support has allowed Alessi to accelerate the development of the new strategic plan that places a particular focus on international development, especially in markets with high growth potential, such as USA and China, and on the expansion of the digital channel, through the strengthening and internalization of the management platform of e-commerce.
"We renegotiated the company's financial exposure, involving a pool of creditor banks with the decisive intervention of illimity as leader, the new bank that also specializes in extraordinary finance operations" Daniel Talens recounts.