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									      PROFILE MAGNIFLEX                                                                                                                                                                                MAGNIFLEX PROFILE
                                                                                                                                                               of move, which will see the            different. Let’s say we have some   this raft of brands and
         The Magni brothers (from left to right):
         Fabrizio, Alessandro and Marco                                                                                                                        company trade directly in the UK       very solid products that are what   products is the firm’s
                                                                                                                                                               for the first time.                    our customers love and we will      decision 10 years ago
                                                                                                                                                                  The company’s Relaxsan brand        keep them without any change.       to specialise in
                                                                                                                                                               of mid-market memory foam              But we have now introduced          memory foam
                                                                                                                                                               mattresses has been available          many other products that will       products,
                                                                                                                                                               in the UK for the past 10 years.       be in a higher segment of the       which            Aromatherapy by
                                                                                                                                                               But following the recent collapse      market,” continues Magni.           Magni                     Relaxsan
                                                                                                                                                               of General Traders, Magniflex’s           “In Magniflex, we have 10-12     claims
                                                                                                                                                               distributor in the UK, the firm        models that are world-wide          has allowed
                                                                                                                                                               has decided to sell Relaxsan           bestsellers and I think they can    Magniflex to
                                                                                                                                                               direct in Britain and roll out their   also work in the UK. We also        innovate more
                                                                                                                                                               higher-tier Magniflex ranges           have something we have just         easily and produce a
                                                                                                                                                               and sister-brands, such as Pierre      developed which is not yet          broad range of specialised
                                                                                                                                                               Cardin bedding products, here in       ready for the UK: which is a new    products.
                                                                                                                                                               the near future.                       patent for memory foam that            “Our memory foam is
                                                                                                                                                                  “It’s a long time that we           can stabilise your temperature      designed to work in response to
                                                                                                                                                               wanted to go directly into the         at 37 degrees.                      weight, not temperature, unlike
                                                                                                                                                               UK,” explains Magni, “Because             “Then we have all the natural    our competitors,” says Magni.
                                                                                                                                                               I think the UK market is one of        products like the Geoethic line     “So actually the advantage
                                                                                                                                                               the most important markets             which we will introduce in the      of our memory foam is that
                                                                                                                                                               in Europe and also very close          UK. What we are also going to       it doesn’t need any warm-up
                                                                                                                                                               [in character] to the American         do is create the shop-in-shop       period. It conforms to your body
                                                                                                                                                               market.”                               concept, which is something to      shape immediately and doesn’t
                                                                                                                                                                  Magni adds that ever since          help the consumer find a small      sink or make you too warm. The
                                                                                                                                                               the firm successfully went direct      Magniflex world within stores.”     problem with many memory
                                                                                                                                                               in the US three years ago, they           Aware that many British          foams is that they are hot,”
                                                                                                                                                               had considered repeating the           retailers and consumers are         Magni says.
                                                                                                                                                               move in the UK, but have only          unfamiliar with Magniflex’s full       “We also developed a special
                                                                                                                                                               now found the right opportunity        portfolio of products, Magni        memory foam in the last four
                                                                                                                                                               to do so. Magni adds that the          goes on to describe the structure   years that is made with natural
                                                                                                                                                               company is already learning new        of the business, which, he          oils, and from that we developed
                                                                                                                                                               things about the UK’s needs and        reveals, produces more than         the Geoethic line that is very
                                                                                                                                                               has a raft of products ready to        1,200 distinct mattress lines.      environment-friendly,” Magni
                                                                                                                                                               support expansion into Britain.           “We have several brands,”        continues.
                                                                                                                                                                  “I think the UK is also a           says Magni. “We have Relaxsan          “Hybrid cars still burn oil but
                                                                                                                                                               window for us in the world,            which for us is the middle          they burn less oil than other
                                                                                                                                                               because it is one of the main          market. Then, when we               cars, so the same is true of the
                                                                                                                                                               markets globally,” says Magni.         finish Relaxsan, we start with      Geoethic line which is made
                                                                                                                                                               “Actually we’re quite excited          Magniflex and go up. We also        by using 100% of what can be
                                                                                                                                                               because going onto the street          have Pierre Cardin which we         natural. Even the foam: 50% is

 Family affair
                                                                                                                                                               with the reps to the customers         have a worldwide license for        natural, and 50% synthetic. We
                                                                                                                                                               we have a different picture of         – and we say it is for a similar    are working to develop a better
                                                                                                                                                               the market compared to what            market to Magniflex.                foam to get that nearer 100%,”
                                                                                                                                                               we had before from the old                “We also have Dormir which       he adds.
                                                                                                                                                               distributor,” Magni adds.              is the brand we use mainly for         The natural features of many
                                                                                                                                                                  Clearly the company is              the mass market – hypermarkets      of the firm’s products – which
                                                                                                                                                               energised by the plans for             and so on. And then we have         include mattresses containing
                                                                                                                                                               Britain. But how will that             Materrassi & Materrassi, which      bamboo extracts, essential
                                                                                                                                                               strategy play out over the next        is our franchising chain that       oils and even precious metals
                                                                                                                                                               year? Magni explains that the          is mainly in Italy. We have 60      – respond to relatively recent
                                                                                                                                                               company wants to develop and           shops currently and it’s getting    shifts in consumer demand, but
                                                                                                                                                               expand the Relaxsan brand,             to 90 shops by the end of the       are in keeping with company
                                                                                                                                                               which British consumers are            year. We think we may export        values that go much further
                                                                                                                                                               already familiar with, before          this concept abroad but at this     back, says Magni.
                                                                                                                                                               doing anything else.                   moment it is mainly here in
                                                                                                                                                                  “First we will consolidate the      Italy,” Magni adds.
                                                                                                                                                               Relaxsan brand through most               The key to the flexibility
                                                                                                                                                               of 2010,” explains Magni. “But         that underlies
Magniflex has long been something of a              Located deep in the heart of           One company that                 firm, joins brothers Alessandro    we might then start the launch
sleeping giant in the UK mattress market.           Tuscany, Prato embodies many        represents those contrasting        and Fabrizio in managing the       of Magniflex products after
                                                    of the contradictions of Italy in   values perfectly is mattress        company today. He jokes that       the autumn, between
For many years only its Relaxsan brand has          the 21st century. Although the      manufacturer Magniflex, which       although his family’s history in   September and
been available here, but now the company is         green hills around the town are     has its sprawling headquarters      the area goes back 500 years,      October,” he says.
                                                    dotted with cypress trees, much     in Prato’s outskirts. The company   in that time they have moved          “We are now
preparing to enter the UK market in a major         as they were in Renaissance         sells bedding products in 72        only a kilometre and a half        redesigning all
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               An Orthosoft mattress
                                                    paintings, the valleys below        countries around the world, but     to the present-day site of the     the Relaxsan lines
way, says global sales director Marco Magni         are home to some of the most        is still family run. Marco Magni,   Magniflex factory. Today he is     with more updated
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            from the Relaxsan range

                                                    advanced industry in the world.     global sales director for the       discussing a very different kind   products that are quite

16 | | 02 April 2010                                                                                                                                                                                     02 April 2010 | | 17
                                                                           also helped to cut shipping         them like a normally designed
        Marco Magni with a canine friend                                   costs and emissions during          bed in your home.”
                                                                           transport from the factory.            More speculatively,
                                                                              “With vacuum-packed              Magni says that full product
                                                                           mattresses you can carry the        personalisation may be available
                                                                           same number of products in          from the company in the future.
                                                                           one truck as nine trucks of            “We have a lot of different
                                                                           standard spring mattresses,”        products, so in the end you can
                                                                           says Magni. “With this              find the right one for you. In the
                                                                           invention my father allowed us      future there might be a special
                                                                           to have a product that is very      department that will be like Nike
                                                                           environmentally friendly and        ID, where you can design your
                                                                           very hygienic because from the      own product,” he continues.
                                                                           company to the consumer, our           “This is something we are
                                                                           product is sealed.”                 developing with the IT guys
                                                                              Magniflex have pursued           but at the moment it is not yet
                                                                           natural benefits through            real personalisation. We try to
                                                                           technological means in other        develop products so in every
                                                                           areas too, including infusing       product we find a certain kind
                                                                           certain products, such as its       of feature for a certain kind of
                                                                           Geoethic range of mattresses,       person,” he adds.
                                                                           with essential oils that are           With this creative approach to
                                                                           medically proven to aid restful     product development, it’s easy
                                                                           sleep, says Magni.                  to imagine that the company
                                                                              “We have special fabrics         will gain a fair bit of attention
                                                                           like lavender and aloe vera         from consumers in the UK as it
                                                                           where we use, in this case,         rolls out its previously unseen
                                                                           nanotechnology treatments           lines in this country. But amid
                                                                           that allow us to install millions   all this fanfare, Magni says
                                                                           of microcapsules that contain       Magniflex will be taking the long
                                                                           different kinds of essential oil    view to achieve success:
                                                                           inside the fabric,” says Magni.        “Actually our feeling is that
                                                                              “We start with the lavender,     2010 probably won’t be the
                                                                           because it is a proven by           launch year for the economy,”
                                                                           doctors that it helps you to        he says.
                                                                           relax and go into REM sleep. So        “I think 2010 is where you
                                                                           we say it is a key point for the    will feel the real crisis and our
                                                                           mattress because if you suffer      feeling is that maybe from 2012
                                                                           from insomnia or need a lot of      we will start to see the real re-
        Family values underpin                                             time to start to sleep we can       start of the market. We cannot
        the company’s approach to business                                 help with this issue,” he adds.     complain, because since 2008
                                                                              Magni says that the ranges       when the recession started we
                                                                           being introduced into the           have always maintained the
                                                                           UK will be supported by full        same numbers,” Magni adds,
   “Actually, the green aspect         Japanese market, which called       training for retail staff to        observing that keeping a cool
 came in quite strongly five           for eco-oriented products well in   help them make sales in an          head during the good times
 years ago. I think today it is        advance of the rest of the world.   increasingly well-informed          helped them during recession.
 quite normal to talk about              Marco Magni’s father,             consumer market.                       “We didn’t invest in anything
 environmentally friendly              Giuliano, had also previously          “Now the consumer is             risky. For sure, we had a lot of
 products but it was five              developed a method of               not the same as 10 years ago.       offers because as a company
 years ago that we had to do           vacuum-packing memory               Now, sometimes the consumer         we were quite healthy, but
 something for the market              foam mattresses, condensing         knows much more than the            we preferred to stay out from
 really,” he adds.                     them into a small package that      sales person because of the         this stage. Actually it is paying
   Magni says the company had          consumers could carry from the      internet,” he adds.                 us today because we are not
 a head start in this area as it                           shop, which        Intriguingly, Magni says         stressed to give back money to
 had been trading in the                                                   the firm have also started          someone, so we can concentrate
                                                                           producing beds as well as           on the products and the right
                                                                                 mattresses:                   quality and advertising to the
         Water Latex DLX                                                             “We are now getting       consumer in the market.”
         mattress from Relaxsan                                                     also into beds because        This, like much at Magniflex,
                                                                                    the support for the        makes doing global business
                                                                                    mattresses is very         seem no more than a matter of
                                                                                   important. So it is         prudent family housekeeping.
                                                                               something that was missing
                                                                           from our products before but
                                                                           we want to develop this kind of
                                                                           line with Magniflex beds; it is a
        A vacuum-packed                                                                                                  FOR MORE INFORMATION VISIT
                                                                           support that in the end will look
        Magniflex product                                                                                    
                                                                           like a bed – possibly you can use

18 | | 02 April 2010

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