The commercial centre operated by JSWB (JiSheng Wellborn) – a leading company in the distribution of upscale furniture in China – was chosen by Pikolin, a firm based in Aragon, as the perfect place to open its first shop in China. The 200 m sq Pikolin shop in this prestigious shopping centre is on a floor devoted to leisure-related products. Other major firms from around the world selling deluxe furniture and design also have stores in the shopping centre. Like Pikolin, they have decided to put down roots in the Asian country, attracted by its new, emerging elite consumer base hungering for foreign goods. This new venture has seen Pikolin form a fruitful relationship with the local business Luolai which has over 2,000 shops up and down China. Luolai, a very respected brand for bedlinen and other types of linen for the home, is in the Asia-Pacific region. During the opening ceremony which took place on April 30, Borja Solans, grandson of Pikolin’s founder and son of the current company president, stated that the special affinity between the goods which Luolai makes and distributes and those of Pikolin make the former the ‘ideal’ partner for the Spanish company as it makes its first foray into this new complex and competitive foreign market. All the products Pikolin sells in China are made in their entirety in its workshops in Zaragoza, where the company has the biggest mattress factory in Europe, which has over 1,000 employees. Pikolin’s slogan in its European markets is ‘Despierta tu salud’ (literally, ‘Wake up your health’), meaning that the company enhances people’s wellbeing and quality of life, as implied by the fact that one sleeps well on a good mattress – and this also makes the Spanish brand appeal to the Chinese market where it’s making its debut. ‘The Chinese consumer who seeks out high-quality European goods expects a European standard that’s markedly different from locally made, generally very hard mattresses,’ says Julio Ceballos, Pikolin’s representative in China. Pikolin, which celebrated its 60th anniversary in business in 2008, is a leading bedding company in Spain, where it has over 200 shops trading under the name Bed’s. It also has factories and retail outlets in Portugal and France. However, its showroom in Shanghai is the first store the group has in the Asia-Pacific region. The firm has ambitions to open at least one other shop in China this year. This would also be located in a commercial centre of the same calibre as the one in Shanghai. Yet Pikolin takes a prudent line when talking about the group’s long-term strategy of expansion in China. ‘This is a market with massive potential but it’s also very complex. First of all we’re going to see how the first shop goes, then we’ll decide what further steps to take,’ says Borja Solans.
Last September the Porcelanosa group opened its flagship store in Manhattan’s buzzy and bustling Flatiron district, at the intersection of Fifth Avenue and Broadway, with all the glamour and high style that the Spanish Brand is famous for. The new store is situated in the iconic, neoclassical 1919 Commodore Criterion building. More than 700 guests attended the opening party, among them many members of key US architecture and interior design practices, as well as well-known faces from the worlds of culture, cinema and international society. The interior of Porcelanosa’s six-storey, 2,000-sq m shop has been redesigned by Foster + Partners, the practice of Norman Foster, winner of the Pritzker Architecture Prize in 1999 and Prince of Asturias Award in the Arts Category in 2009. Foster + Partners has restored the original facade and created an innovative, versatile interior, now recognised internationally as a high-profile project. The building’s lower floors are used to display the products of Porcelanosa’s eight brands, from ceramic floor and wall coverings to kitchen and bathroom fittings and building materials. On the top floor are offices, meetings rooms and plenty of space for holding lectures, seminars and exhibitions. The Porcelanosa group is a leading, globally renowned company in the ceramics sector, which began its expansion into the US market 30 years ago. The new Manhattan shop aspires to be an iconic, corporate urban landmark in the Big Apple, where Porcelanosa already has two shops. The brand has around 500 shops all over the world, 25 of which are in the US, along with over 500 authorised distributors.
Porcelanosa is one of the most reputable tile, kitchen, and bath products manufacturers in the world. This company, which has over 400 showrooms in over 80 countries, has been established in Miami for almost 20 years. Miami is the ideal location for a Porcelanosa showroom, as this company specializes in contemporary, colorful products. For the showroom’s location, Porcelanosa chose the Doral area, which is known for its tile stores. The Porcelanosa building is backed with a 50,000 square feet warehouse ready to store over 7,000 pallets of material. The showroom is situated near from the airport and a big sign on the warehouse’s roof is visible for all the planes landing. The Miami showroom shows over 79 tile and bath settings in 9,000 square feet. Porcelanosa does not believe in showing tile on racks. Therefore, their most popular collections are featured in room mockups. Porcelanosa has over 5,000 references in stock at all times. Porcelanosa has other 13 showrooms in the US: Los Angeles, San Jose, New York, Paramus (NJ), Rockville (MD), and Boston are some of the cities where Porcelanosa has a warehouse showroom. Porcelanosa also has over 500 dealers across the country.
PORCELANOSA started operations in the United States more than 20 years ago and have rapidly grown to become the choice resource for discriminating homeowners, builders, architects and designers. With a global presence that extends to 80 different countries and more than 400 company owned showrooms around the world and in the US, Porcelanosa Group is one of the most reputable tile, kitchen, and bath products manufacturers in the world. Porcelanosa has other 17 showrooms in the US: Los Angeles, San Jose, New York, Paramus (NJ), Rockville (MD), and Boston are some of the cities where Porcelanosa has a warehouse showroom. Porcelanosa also has over 500 dealers across the country. Porcelanosa made its debut in Chicago Summer 2009 at LuxeHome. Open to the public and located on the first floor of the world-famous Merchandise Mart, LuxeHome is the world’s largest collection of luxury boutiques for home building and renovation and has become synonymous with the best of the best in luxury kitchen and bath products for the home. Porcelanosa took up 7800 square feet of space on the first floor in suite 149. LuxeHome, the country’s premier destination for the finest kitchen, bath and building products, is renowned for its wide selection of luxury tile products from world-class brands including Ann Sacks, Urban Archaeology, Paris Ceramics, Artistic Tile, among others. “ “Porcelanosa’s Lifestyle concept is a way of appreciating beauty and comfort through the creation of stylish living spaces,” said Jim Demestichas of Porcelanosa. “Our philosophy is based on creating advanced, beautiful, original, and functional products, such as ceramics, parquet, bathroom furnishings, kitchens, hydro massage, spas, bathroom fixtures, and quality accessories, all with innovation and respect for the environment.” Some of the latest offerings at this showroom is the Ston-ker collection which features colored porcelain tiles and Urbatek, a collection of unglazed colored through-body porcelain tiles. Urbatek tiles are durable, resistant to detergents, impact and are hypo-alergenic and bacteria free.