The Italian design-led Guzzini brand is terminating its 40-years-plus UK distributor relationship with Forma House.
The parting of the ways for the two companies is entirely amicable, having been driven by spiralling costs.
In a statement, Forma House said that investment in the brand had increased internal costs for Guzzini “dramatically, and it has therefore been decided by the Guzzini management that Guzzini can no longer sustain a distributor margin to support this growth.
“The Guzzini management feel the brand has reached a pricing saturation point in the minds of the UK consumer and therefore the Forma House distribution contract with the brand will terminate at the end of this year.”
From the beginning of January 2012, Guzzini – whose UK business is currently worth £1m annually – will continue operating across the UK market but will deal on a direct basis with all its retailers. The company is not currently looking to establish a subsidiary here, and customer service structures from Italy will be advised nearer the time. HousewaresLive.net does understand, though, that the company may be looking at launching a flagship store in London.
Forma House says that service over the next six months will be unaffected, with no reduction in stock levels up to the end of 2011, when customers will begin to deal direct.
Forma House admitted that it was “a blow to lose such a prestigious brand” but managing director Guido Maghnagi said: “All businesses have to evolve and often change market strategy, and Guzzini is certainly no different. On a personal level, I’m very proud that Forma has established this brand to such a level in the UK that this transition to subsidiary level can now be made. I wish the Guzzini team all the very best and look forward to the future for both our companies.”
Forma House is now actively seeking new partners and is inviting companies to contact it directly to introduce their ranges. The distributor’s most recent addition is the Tescoma collection of kitchenware and tabletop essentials.