Organizzazione Orlandelli was founded in 1983 by an intuition of my father who launched on the Italian floriculture market the trolley for the transportation of plants and flowers. Immediately afterwards he started producing displays of various kinds and then tackled the complex task of furnishing a store. Now we are designing innovative systems of visual communication in coordination with the image of the entire sales point.
If you want a company to survive and have a future, innovating, following and, even more so, anticipating market trends are the way to go, besides being surrounded by a competent, passionate and motivated staff. This applies to all sectors.
Fortunately, we do not miss anything at Orlandelli.
We have a lot of competition, everyone does their own. What makes us unique is the collaboration with the other companies of the Orlandelli Group: the Valle dei Fiori Garden Center and the Valle dei Fiori Gardens where we design and build green areas. We have a vertical business dedicated to Floriculture. This allows us to acquire important knowledge that we incorporate in our exhibition concepts.
What do you think about the evolution of Garden Centers in Italy?
It is a fact that in Italy there are huge margins for improvement for the Garden Center sector, just take a look at what happens in France, Germany, Holland or England. The Consumer is ready for a wider and better commercial offer.
The way we see it in Organizzazione Orlandelli, in Italy there are many skilled Entrepreneurs that do not lack the desire to get things done, we are on the right track! we also see it from the number and the quality of the requests that come in. The thing that makes us more confident is that, after a few years wasted, plants and flowers are back to being the core business in the Garden Center; if not in terms of volume of sales, they are for the focus of the offer.
Evolution happens daily, in the coming years many Italian Garden Centers will experience a generational change that will, I hope, bring new life into our market.
Even the increase in competition from the large-scale retail sector will be an incentive to do even better!
A boost to further improve and accelerate this transformation of the Garden Centers could come from the world of production, Nurseries and Growers. Today it is not enough to produce high quality plants, the packaging and the display system are essential!
We have already created dedicated concepts and the sales feedback has reached levels that even ourselves did not dare to imagine.
It is a message I send to producers: increase the visibility of your brand in the eyes of the consumer. You will benefit greatly.
Why are there so few new Garden Centers being built in Italy?
Financial reasons, access to credit and bureaucratic complexity are the main reasons why few new Garden Centers are being built. Also, entrepreneurs should be more audacious and risk more, if that was coupled with a more dynamic country system, in a few years we would see new high-level realities grow!
Beyond the new openings, many Italian Garden Centers would need a restyling of their displays: not just to renovate exhausted furniture, but to design and experiment with new exhibition layouts and up to date layouts and the new digital era. You now do not limit yourself to the sale of furniture but also intervene in the creative process: in your experience, are Italian Garden Centers moving in this direction?
There are no excuses for the restyling issue!
I want to make a comparison with another industry, I have friends in Hong Kong managing restaurants. Their rental agreement obliges them to renew the premises every three years! They do it because to keep up the competitive level of a location, be it a restaurant or any other business, new stimuli need to be provided to visitors. We regret to note that some entrepreneurs tell us "my benches are more than 20 years old and they still work well ...". I do not find it to be a winning mentality.
Is it only my impression or have you intensified your activities abroad over the last 10 years? If so, what motivated you?
Thanks to my father’s intuition, Organizzazione Orlandelli was born with an aspiration towards Internationalization, we have customers in many European countries, in Australia, India, and in Russia they have designated us as "drivers" of Garden Centers’ trends. In 2013 we opened an office in the United States and in a matter of a few years our exhibition concepts have entered many American Garden Centers. We rely a lot on offering Italian design, proposing our professionalism and creativity. Our way of doing business is very appreciated abroad.
Getting a chance to work with clients from different cultures allows us to acquire new concepts from each project. The nature of the client itself also leads us to continually broaden our views. For example, when we are asked to design an exhibition space for large-scale retailers, issues such as profitability to M2 and the ability of an exhibitor to "dialogue" with the visitor are very important.
Tell me about FICO: how was this project born? Who promoted it and when? How big is Flora Toscana’s greenhouse? What exactly was your role?
So you want to talk about FICO Eataly World? How beautiful!
The company that manages the plant and flower shop inside FICO is the Flora Toscana Cooperative from Pescia. A historical but modern company. The first contact for this project took place at Myplant & Garden last year when we presented the Garden Center Identity concept. The Director of the Cooperative at the time, Walter Incerpi, was clever at imagining the installation inside FICO.
The reason why Flora Toscana has accepted to participate in the FICO project is interesting.
FICO Eataly World is an agri-food park unique in the world and has been conceived to be a showcase of the biodiversity existing in our country. Flora Toscana is there to represent the best of Italian Floriculture.
Being able to become part of the Eataly World was a very exciting challenge and given the premises, I must say that the Staff worked with great passion on this project aware of the fact that it would bring us an important return in terms of visibility.
We have studied every little detail, from the workbench to the displays, from the image of the sales point to the choice of colors. We are talking about an area of 110 square meters where we had to concentrate elegance, profitability, functionality and seasonality of the offer.
Obviously, safety, fire proofing and other technical aspects have made the project very complex. Working with the guys from Flora Toscana, we presented the project to the FICO Architects. It was a big satisfaction being told that everything was fine and that the design idea was in line with their Eataly philosophy. How beautiful!
Before delivering it, we recreated the point of sale in our Showroom. It is a practice that we always follow when we create new exhibition concept, an empirical test that helps us verifying the usability of the spaces for the employees and the functionality of the layout.
If you go to Fico, and I recommend you do, let us have your opinion, we will treasure it.
Inside Garden Centers colors are usually prevailing (with green standing out) and "wood" is more or less rustic: in your concept you have instead opted for white, obtaining a very bright result and bringing out the colors of the plants. Even the frame, so “minimal”, almost seems to disappear. Will the Garden Center of the future be more “elegant” or is it a choice adopted only for Fico?
I would not speak of elegant furniture, we believe that the Garden Center should create spaces that are engaging, harmonious and, at the same time, commercially aggressive. The study of the layout and of the Center’s image are directly related to the success of any point of sale.
What will the Garden Center of the future look like?
In our view, there is no transversal trend that unites all Garden Centers. The projects we are working on all look completely different from each other but they will all work. We ourselves encourage the personalization of your store. At this moment we are working on the project of two important Garden Center chains, one in the United States and one in Australia and in both cases we have proposed NOT to create continuity between a sales point and the other just to prevent the customer from thinking that once you have seen one you have seen them all.
There is a great transformation in the world of commerce, the advent of the internet with online sales is gaining more and more market share. For physical points of sale it is essential to create settings of great effect in order to give the visitor one more reason to come back to visit.
This is what we are working on to give our customers beautiful, functional and profitable exhibition concepts.