Arlex is proud that its new catalogue launched this year offers superb design and quality at some of the most competitive prices in the sector. The collection features pieces from leading independent designers including Odosdesign, CrousCalogero and Josep Turell, all of which show how design-led the Arlex brand is.
'We are in the mid-priced group of modern furniture companies,' says Ferran Ballús of Arlex, 'but what we are able to give customers is superior craftsmanship without it costing them more.' In other words, it wants to be accessible, not exclusive.
Arlex, which this year celebrates its 50th anniversary, is based in Barcelona, and all of its product is manufactured in Spain. It sells well in the domestic market, but is looking to increase exports, particularly to the UK. Ballús says no one has been immune to the global economic downturn, which is hitting Spain particularly harshly at the moment. But because Arlex is so well-established, it has the critical mass to withstand difficult situations that have, ¡n some cases, proved insurmountable for small businesses.
'We are a modern, efficient, prestigious company and we have capacity to take on new projects,' he says. 'And certainly over the past year we have been focusing more heavily on export markets and we are starting to see the flrst fruits from this work.'
So, who are Arlex customers, and how does the company differentiate itself in the crowded modern furniture market? Ballús reiterates that it's an absolute determination to maintain quality and keep to the centre ground in terms of pricing that has made its consumer offer attractive and reliable. 'Our new collection shows that you don't have to lower quality to be competitive. People like our design and they like our prices.'
And the 2012 catalogue has been very well received for the easy styling of the furniture, which has clean, geometric lines and attention to detail. The Kairos headboard by odosdesign, for example, has attachable containers which means things such as glasses, books or your mobile phone are always to hand.
Arlex, which is led by Joan Llimargas and has a workforce of around 80 people, is an environmentally-conscious company, with ISO14000 and ISO9000 certificatión. All of the wood the company uses is from sustainable forests and clients can request that their furniture is made from FSC-certified wood if they prefer.
Arlex has been a stalwart supporter of the Valencia Furniture Fair, having exhibited there for the past 40 years. Next year it is planning to take the brand to the Milan Furniture Fair, as part of its export drive.