A fourth generation family furniture business, Arighi Bianchi has recently celebrated 160 years in business, so it’s no stranger to the industry. Located in Macclesfield, the Arighi Bianchi store stands proud in a striking Grade II listed building designed in homage to The Crystal Palace, which was originally built in 1850 in London’s Hyde Park.
At the helm of the flooring department stands Neville Hinchliffe, flooring department manager. Having started his career in retail flooring at Arighi Bianchi 15 years ago, Neville has taken time out to talk to us about the business and what’s happening on the shop floor.
Q. What made you go into retail?
I actually spotted an advert at my high school from Arighi Bianchi looking for Saturday helpers. I applied at 15 years old, and the rest they say is history. Having started from the bottom, and worked my way up, I’ve spent time in various areas of the business to learn the trade. I love face to face customer selling and still get a real buzz from closing a sale.
Q. What would you say most customers are looking for when they come in to choose a floor?
A great selection of products that stand out from the crowd, as well as honest help and advice. We pride ourselves on excellent customer service, so it’s important every one of our customers receive great service from start to finish.
Q. How many Karndean designs do you currently display?
As a big Karndean advocate, we have every range on display with our complete Karndean Designflooring showroom, and an interactive play table for our customers to put their own designs together using Karndean products. Having the complete range, we’re able to offer our customers a wide selection, meaning we can accommodate all tastes and styles.
Q. Why did you choose to partner with Karndean Designflooring?
Although we were familiar with the brand, we wanted to know as much as possible about the products and service levels. Karndean invited our team to their Evesham head office and showroom, and after seeing the product for ourselves, we knew immediately it would complement our own brand and offering to customers perfectly. Karndean’s product range, professional service and passion for their product portfolio is infectious, so it’s exciting for us to be part of the experience.
Q. What is your favourite product or range?
Personally, I’ve always loved the Van Gogh Wood designs, but the latest Da Vinci Wood colours definitely grab my attention. The rustic and reclaimed looks are bang on trend at the moment, and proving a hit with our customers.
Q. What trends are you seeing emerge in flooring and/or what are your favourites?
In carpet were seeing a big call for chunky loop piles, un-dyed yarns and big bold geometric designs. In smooth flooring it’s definitely the rustic and reclaimed look, as well as painted, polished and grey finishes. Flooring is fast becoming the statement piece in homes, so it’s an exciting time to be in the flooring industry.
Q. What has been your favourite flooring installation/project to date?
There isn't a specific installation that springs to mind immediately, but I really enjoy working on more intricate design work. The fantastic thing about Karndean is that there’s a vast array of design strips and borders that can be used to create a truly bespoke floor for our customers.
A big thank you to Neville for taking time out to talk to us about Arighi Bianchi and his personal experience in the industry. If you’re in Macclesfield, Cheshire area, make sure you pop in and have a look at their showroom for yourself.