Purchasing quality, well-made furniture produced by the best Italian design companies seems to have become almost a luxury for a few. But there are numerous opportunities to get the best deal as the Americans say, to get good deals.
Among the addresses not to be missed are the company outlets, where brands sell products from fairs, installations and photo shoots reduced by up to 70-80 percent, in addition to special sales in store and online, tempting opportunities for design lovers.
There are also virtuous spaces where it is possible to buy used and refurbished design masterpieces, such as the Artek 2nd Cycle store in Helsinki, and Vitra's Circle Stores, where you can also repair your own furniture and buy spare parts to prolong its life.
Sometimes, to save money, it is enough to adopt smart behaviour, such as 'settling' for the model displayed in the showroom, often sold at 30 percent less, choosing the entry level solutions of the brands and preferring the standard compositions and the basic coverings and colours.
Corporate outlets and outlet days
Among the addresses not to be missed are the company outlets, usually close to or inside the production sites, real paradises for design lovers and collectors. Here it is possible to find new products, inventories, out-of-catalog pieces and rarities no longer in production, furnishings from fairs and photo shoots with discounts of up to 70 and 80 percent.
There are outlets that are always open to the public, such as the Kartell outlet in Noviglio, in the province of Milan, the Poltrona Frau space in >Tolentino, in the Marche region, the Alessi Factory Store in Omegna, and the Cassina Factory Store in Lentate sul Seveso, a space of 2 thousand square meters dedicated to the sale of furniture and accessories returned from photographic services, exhibitions, fairs and installations at advantageous conditions, where special sales are organised, usually on an annual basis or semi-annually.
There are online outlets, such as those of Lago and Unopiù; and there are companies that do not have real outlets, but that announce outlet days, usually half-yearly in November and May , like Artemide and Danese in the Artemide headquarters in Pregnana Milanese, literally stormed by fans of the two brands that managed to grab cult lamps and accessories even at 70 percent discount, and Gebrüder Thonet Vienna with its traditional online sale, here too with reductions of up to 70 percent.
Another address worth mentioning is Scalo Milano, the multi-brand outlet which includes, among the furniture brands, Kartell (with discounts of up to 50, sometimes 70 percent), Poltrona Frau (fixed reduction of 40 percent, sometimes even 40+10 percent on the retail price), Scavolini (30 percent discount), Fatboy (up to 40 percent off), Natuzzi (furnishings and upholstered furniture up to half price, up to 70 percent off accessories and furnishing accessories), Calligaris (discounts of up to 40 percent on furniture and 70 percent on selected objects and carpets).
For lovers of Seletti's figurative and irreverent style, the brand organizes an outlet day once a year at the company headquarters in Cicognara, in the province of Mantua: for 2024 the date has not yet been communicated, but approximately it will be between May and June, (with reservations required by time slot), so stay tuned.
Black Friday and Cyber Monday
The most advantageous long weekend for shopping enthusiasts has just ended, that of Black Friday followed by Cyber Monday.
Year after year, more and more furniture brands join Black Friday, the 'black Friday' that has landed in Italy from the United States, infecting every sector, including design, which traditionally occurs on the last Friday of November after Thanksgiving. and lighting, from Foscarini to FontanaArte, from Poltrona Frau to Visionnaire.
Increasingly active in e-commerce, furniture companies present collections at affordable prices throughout the year, such as Flos which organizes random promos on your website, and Roche Bobois which every semester selects and discounts around ten products ; furthermore, the French fashion house applies a 15 percent discount on the entire collection in May and November, for a limited period of between 8 and 15 days.
Always online, on Scavolini Outlet the authorized Scavolini retailers strong> who wish to renovate their displays, independently, promote kitchens and bathrooms at a good price.
Buying used is convenient (and good for the environment)
Italy is dotted with a myriad of flea markets, antique fairs, vintage shops, shops and second-hand dealers where you can also find discontinued design objects and precious vintage specimens. There are some (still too few!) brands that promote reparability and circularity: among these, Artek with Artek 2nd Cycle, the Helsinki store where the Finnish brand sells furniture, lighting and other everyday objects repaired in a careful and philological way, giving them a second life.
The Artek 2nd Cycle project began in 2006, when Artek decided to recover the most of the second-hand stools and seats designed by Alvar and Aino Aalto, finding them everywhere, from flea markets to sales, from old factories to disused furnishings from schools and shipyards. The Artek 2nd Cycle store opened in 2011, and quickly became a mecca for lovers of Aalto and Finnish design.
Other virtuous spaces are the Vitra Circle stores in Weil am Rhein on the Vitra Campus, in Evere near Brussels, and in Zaandam strong> above Amsterdam. In these circular shops Vitra sells and repairs its products, Artek and Raawii from samples, exhibitions and fairs, putting them back into circulation. But not only that: Vitra provides the assistance and repair center where anyone can bring their Vitra furniture and repair it, buy spare parts and care for the furniture to prolong its life.
It focuses on second-hand, Deesup, the marketplace where you can sell and buy designer furniture ready for delivery, used and for display, with discounts of up to 80 percent. Born in 2017 as a startup from an idea by Valentina Cerolini and Daniele Ena, Deesup today has over 50 thousand users and promotes a consumption model sustainable, spreading the ethical value of reusing high-end design.
Horm and Casamania also like reuse, which in Reuse Design Outlet offer furnishings discounted up to 80 percent, clearly presented, with a card indicating the origin, whether from a photographic set, second choice, fair, and with any defects or imperfections highlighted; the plus: customers can request a video call and see the furniture live on video.
Buy furniture by auction
Another way to get good deals is to browse the auctions. Italy boasts numerous prestigious and reliable auction houses, such as Cambi Casa d'Aste, which organizes frequent sales both online and in person in Milan, at its headquarters in the Brera area, and in Genoa, at the Castello Mackenzie; Cambi's design auctions, curated by Piermaria Scagliola, are preceded by exhibitions where it is possible to touch the lots first hand and talk to the experts .
To buy furniture at auction there is also Catawiki, an online platform where you can find everything: used, vintage pieces, masterpieces by the great masters, contemporary furnishings, emerging artists, with lots starting from a euros or a reserve price, pieces verified and estimated by experts.