Fast approaching its 50th anniversary, designer furniture brand Delcor flies the flag for British craftsmanship. Managing Director Rick Petini tells The Resident that longevity is key
Words: Mark Kebble
Since your early days in the design industry, how have things changed?
Massively! But I have to say hand on heart this is probably the most interesting and exciting time I can remember. The internet has obviously opened up a whole new vista of retailing for the mass market. For us at the premium, luxury end it has almost pre-selected our customer base. Our clients are definitely price and design savvy and more than willing to pay for quality, but are arguably more discerning than ever before – it is like cooking fine food, it is more satisfying when your guests appreciate the effort and quality!
When originally made Managing Director of Delcor in 2005, what were your ambitions for the company?
When I was made MD I identified the need for more vibrant fabrics, a change of product shapes and more bespoke features. These weren’t the only consumer requirements that I realised needed changing. I revived the re-covering service and expanded the bespoke size service, which allows customers to have their products in any size they desire.
Why did you want to purchase the company outright in 2009?
When purchasing Delcor in 2009 my passion for the brand and previous success meant I was determined to take the business to greater heights than those I had created in the previous three years. We now have four showrooms across the country – including on King’s Road – an increase in revenue and a strong team of staff, with everyone from the shop sales team to the master craftsmen all believing in the ‘Delcor Difference’, the brand has never been stronger.
What did owning the business mean you could do?
Thinking of the consumer and their ever-changing needs and desires, in 2014 I introduced a 50 year frame guarantee, far more tangible than vague lifetime guarantees and giving a confidence of absolute British quality.
Today, what’s the ethos behind Delcor?
In today’s throwaway society, the ‘Delcor Difference’ is our sofas of distinction are made to last a lifetime. We are craftsman and take immense pride in our work and the finished product – I think that is what really sets us apart. Being truly customer centric is at the heart of everything we do.
Is there a typical style we can always expect from a Delcor product?
Every single Delcor sofa and chair is the definition of a masterpiece – that is, a piece hand-made by a master craftsman with over 20 years’ experience. Every product can be tailored to meet your every like, need and want. A Delcor sofa or chair is a highly personal piece of furniture. It isn’t an off-the-peg purchase designed to suit everybody and nobody, but something of true beauty that takes your personal style and preferences to heart and hand-crafts them into every detail.
Since 1967 Delcor has flown the flag for British craftsmanship with their made-to-measure sofas and chairs, made entirely in Northumberland. Even the timber for the hardwood frames is selected and cut in our own sawmill in Northumberland – so we can guarantee the quality of the wood before we even start making your sofa or chair. Every piece can use our cost-effective refurbishment service. Whether it just needs restoring to its original splendour or you want to give it a fabric makeover, this service will give your old sofa a new lease of life. You’ll get it back within 4 weeks.
How important is the King’s Road showroom to you?
Having a London base is hugely important to us. London is the design capital of the UK – some would say even of Europe and perhaps the world.
Is this part of town a hub when it comes to design?
Being close to Chelsea Harbour is great and, of course, the London Design Festival is very exciting. These days, though, there are pockets of design inspiration in many parts of the capital. We are in good company here in Chelsea with some fabulous restaurants. Not so good for the waistline or the wallet!
Looking at spring/summer 2016, what can you tell me about the latest ranges?
We have launched a fabulous collection of gorgeous summary upholstered products in our SS16 collection. Our Magnum, Chesterfield, and Monaco have all been given a truly on-trend 2016 makeover.
Next year will mark 50 years since Delcor was first launched – any plans to mark the anniversary?
Now that would be telling. Watch this space!
279c King’s Road SW3 5EW; 020 7352 5551; delcor.co.uk