Luxury interiors retailer Arighi Bianchi has announced a new partnership with business expert and TV presenter Kate Hardcastle MBE to help the independent, family-run business secure its legacy as it heads into its 170th year.

Kate (The Customer Whisperer) is a globally recognised consumer insights and engagement specialist. The new collaboration will see her work alongside Arighi Bianchi MD Sarah Bianchi to create an ambitious growth strategy for the retailer.

Arighi Bianchi operates from an iconic shopping emporium in Macclesfield, as well as an ecommerce store. 

After vowing that her working chapter in UK interiors was complete, Kate says she was enticed back to the UK market out of a respect for Arighi Bianchi’s bountiful history and family values.

Sarah Bianchi – a member of The Furniture Awards 2024 judging panel (see related), says: “We are extremely proud to be reaching such a pivotal milestone in our history, as we celebrate our 170th year in 2024. This presented the ideal time for us to not only look back at the elements that have driven our success over the decades, but to take action, and own our future, to secure the brand’s legacy for generations to come.

“We’re not a business that will ever rest on its laurels. While we have strong foundations, an amazing customer base in the region and a brilliant team, we know we must continue to change and adapt to today’s customer’s needs. We’re confident that with Kate’s help we will have stronger strategy that will continue to propel the business into the future, whilst upholding the values that have been embedded in our success for all these years.

“Kate truly is the leader in her field - one of the world’s best business brains. She is the perfect partner to take us on our impending journey. Having most recently worked as a consultant for international businesses in brand, retail and tech across the US, UAE and Australia, it was a real honour that she agreed to turn her attention back to the UK retail space and provide the insights that will really set us apart.

“We will be introducing new product ranges, international partnerships, and placing an increased focus on retail theatre. New technology will help to streamline our processes and support our customer service and quality promise. We are focused on delivering a retail experience for the future.”

Kate Hardcastle MBE adds: “As the oldest family-run furniture business in the UK, Arighi Bianchi truly is iconic. Having endured wars, recessions and a global pandemic, it was clear to me that its foundations are solid and there is huge potential for it to thrive and prosper as the retail space shifts and evolves.

“The development of this strategy is just the first step on this brand’s journey, and I am extremely excited to help the business celebrate its significant milestone whilst setting the wheels in motion to cement its legacy for future generations of the Bianchi family.”

Sarah adds: “Retail is challenging right now, and we know consumers are having to think more carefully about their investment in furniture and furnishings. Seeing Made.com go under, even after an almost £800m valuation, really hit home just how much the industry and the world is changing. But we are confident that we will successfully weather this economic storm in the same way we have weathered other challenges in our 170-year history.

“We look forward to unveiling our refreshed identity and communicating our brand story in 2024.”

Pictured: Sarah and Kate