Arighi Bianchi has appointed Lucy Mather as its new head of communications as it looks to significantly increase its national ecommerce presence and digital sales.

Lucy, who is a fifth-generation member of the Bianchi family, has been tasked with helping to spearhead the business’ ambitious plans, specifically in the digital space, following a complete website overhaul and renewed ecommerce strategy.

While the business had already experienced YoY digital sales growth since launching online in 2015, the closure of its store - the first time in its 167-year history – brought its ecommerce site to the fore. With a fleet of 30 vans and lorries, it was prepared for increased internet orders and rising demand from customers nationwide during the pandemic. As a result, 2020/21 saw a record year for online orders, and this is now a firm focus area for growth. The retailer aims to take market share from leading interiors brands and more than double its online sales in the coming year. Last year the business turned over £18m.

As part of its digital strategy, it has also been working with social media influencers to expand its reputation among younger audiences.

Lucy comments: “It is a hugely exciting time to be joining the family business as we look to significantly extend our national presence through digital channels and appeal to a broader audience. Whilst lockdown was a challenging time – it was the first time the store was closed in its 167-year history – it meant that our ecommerce offering really came to the fore and we saw sales grow and grow. Now is the time to take this one step further, and using a multichannel approach we are aiming to significantly increase our presence and share of voice in media.”

MD Sarah Bianchi adds: “I’m proud to welcome another generation of the family into the business. As such an established business in the North West, we’re extremely well known among the older generations – but we want to communicate the breadth of our offer and showcase the contemporary furniture and accessories we stock that appeal to fashion-conscious buyers. Lucy has joined us to support our digital progression and is helping us to utilise the latest digital techniques to reach our audiences nationwide, through the site, social and PR.”

Lucy has previously worked in communications roles at The PR Boutique and Fitism.