The newly designed Dubai store for Italian luxury furniture maker Poltrona Frau recently unveiled by Majid Al Futtaim Lifestyle, focuses on creating an unforgettable emotional bond with the customers and instilling a deep sense of fascination with the brand and its history. The new 1,000 sqm store in Jumeirah was designed by Poltrona Frau in partnership with Majid Al Futtaim Lifestyle and features a curated selection of historical and contemporary pieces such as the iconic Ouverture Sofa by Pierluigi Cerri and Souvenier D’Italie, the modern outdoor collection by Ludovica + Roberto Palomba. On this occasion, The Kurator spoke to Nicola Coropulis, CEO of Poltrona Frau.
The Kurator: This store has been here for the least 5 years. Can you tell us about this new chapter and the newly designed store?
Nicola Coropulis: We have enjoyed a presence in the UAE for 20 years and this Jumeirah store has been here for five years however the newly designed focuses on creating an unforgettable emotional bond with our customers and instilling a deep sense of fascination with our brand and its history. It features a curated selection of historical and contemporary pieces such as the iconic Ouverture Sofa by Pierluigi Cerri and Souvenier D’Italie, the modern outdoor collection by Ludovica + Roberto Palomba. In addition, Ceccotti Collezioni, a Tuscan brand specialised in fine traditional cabinet-making techniques and part of Poltrona Frau since 2018, is featured in the new store with iconic pieces designed by Roberto Lazzeroni such as the iconic sofa D.R.D.P. and the Icolounge armchair.
The launch of this newly redesigned store also marks a very important step in the evolution of our brand because it signifies the official start of our partnership with Majid Al Futtaim Lifestyle, a partner that we believe is the right one to bring us to the next level. Not only because they have the financial resources and a very strong network, but also because we share the same values and principles. It’s much easier to work with people who share the same beliefs when it comes to business.
TK: Tell us about some of your projects in the UAE?
NC: Poltrona Frau is renowned for its expertise in luxury furniture for residential spaces, however, we have also established a strong presence in notable public spaces across the world including the UAE. One prominent project is the Dubai Opera house, where we supplied all the seats, ensuring a premium experience for its visitors, our collaboration with Jean Nouvel to furnish the iconic Louvre Abu Dhabi is another endeavor. Additionally, Poltrona Frau can be found in various locations, such as Ferrari World Abu Dhabi and the concourses of Abu Dhabi International Airport. We also take pride in furnishing the lounges of Etihad Airways and numerous UAE embassies worldwide. Moreover, our craftsmanship extends to luxury automotive brands like Ferrari and Bentley.
TK: Can you tell us more about this collaboration with Majid Al Futtaim – how long has it been since you partnered and what are you looking forward to next?
NC: We only began discussions one year ago and I have to say it has been a very fast move, but at the same time a very thoughtful one. From our initial meetings, we realized we have common business values and common ambitions of creating an ecosystem that can attract an increasing number of luxury customers. We believe through our partnership with Majid Al Futtaim Lifestyle, we have a very powerful vehicle to talk, to grow our audience and to establish an equitable relationship that will certainly be beneficial to our brand.
TK: How do you see the market in the Middle East and the GCC in terms of interiors and luxury furniture?
NC: This is one of the most affluent markets in the world with the most potential for the luxury sector, from fashion to jewelry to watches to automotive and also furniture. The reason behind this is not only the financial strength of the consumers but also their understanding and appreciation of luxury goods, exquisite craftsmanship, and rich heritage. I also feel, there is a very good appreciation of the Italian lifestyle and way of living.
TK: What is your strategy for this market? What is new that you’re bringing to the table?
NC: Certainly, today we are bringing a much larger and much more refined store. A new store in the Mall of the Emirates will follow in the coming months. We aim to establish two distinct hubs that cater to diverse clientele, where we can actually create dedicated experiences.
TK: What do you think is special about the clients here in the Middle East?
NC: They have high spending power, at the same time – and rightfully so, they have high expectations. It is imperative for us not to compromise on service standards as this forms an integral part of the luxury proposition. We are fully committed to meeting their demands and ensuring their utmost satisfaction.
TK: Do you have any plans to expand in the region?
NC: Certainly, our goal is to create a virtuous ecosystem that begins in Dubai and extends beyond the Emirates into neighboring GCC countries. That’s the ambition, but Poltrona Frau and Majid Al Futtaim Lifestyle also want to do it right, get the fundamentals right. So, we will see how this store is able to able to intersect and deal with the expectations and the needs of the local clients. We will see how the new store in Mall of the Emirates will be able to add value to our proposition and based on this, we will execute our plan starting from 2024-25.