Interview with Massimo Ricci, Sales and Marketing Director for CMT Utensili S.p.A. and President of CMT USA Inc.
What is the market trend for the Tool sector and what are your forecasts for the current year?
In recent times, despite the serious pandemic and its relative consequences, we have witnessed a significant increase in demand in this market.
Authorities also confirm its consistent expansion, with rosy forecasts for the whole of 2021. This translates to a + 30% increase in sales in comparison to last year.
Despite the many unknowns within the system and challenges facing production and work, both artisans and DIYers are riding an overall positive trend, which is certainly excellent news considering the quite unusual circumstances we find ourselves in.
Among the different types of users, which ones have you identified as strategic?
The woodworking industry has always been predominantly masculine, even though most recently, we have noticed a steady increase in female social influencers and artisans.
Precisely for this reason, CMT, with the release of the new product catalogue, is working hard to further attract their attention and better accommodate them. It is also interesting to note that the average user age in the industry has lowered.
This perhaps is due to effects of the pandemic, which imposed heavy restrictions and inevitably increased the available time people had to enjoy hobbies and pastimes.
Even younger individuals have found a new interest in woodworking due to "forced" cohabitation with family members who have always had a passion for this “art form”.
What's more, growth in the sector has also been fueled by government incentives in the form of funds and deductions providing a healthy stimulant for construction and renovation projects, the benefit of which is particularly felt in both the industrial and artisanal sectors.
In general, how important is innovation in this product sector?
CMT makes use of an extensively trained and efficient staff whose expertise in planning and design as well as capacity to optimize commercial channels enables intelligent use of quality
raw materials and favors the implementation of techniques deriving from the latest technologies available.
The constant challenge is to find the perfect tool for each application, the tool that embodies optimum versatility and adaptability throughout processing methods.
Currently, we are launching brand new items for both routing and cutting of new materials as well as traditional wood and its derivatives.
To ensure the best possible experience for the end user, CMT makes its Web Department available worldwide, to provide the necessary assistance for easy e-commerce set-up – an absolute indispensable service at a moment in time in which technology has taken the forefront.
What are the tool distribution channels currently in use at CMT?
The CMT product range is subdivided into two large categories: industrial and advanced artisan / do-it-yourself. This diversification manages to attract a rather significant part of the market.
The major marketplace platforms have been welcoming CMT products for some time and we find ourselves managing more and more requests from collaborators who want to include Orange Tools in their e-commerce store, not only in Italy but in every corner of the world. We are present in over 90 countries.
How important is the hardware channel to you?
Most definitely, the Italian hardware market requires a lot more attention, mainly because of the flourishing relationship between physical and online points of sale. In this regard, CMT is constantly working to anticipate consumption trends, translating them into concrete projects, always maintaining a much needed and valuable elasticity.
We have helped several hardware stores create and develop their e-commerce platform, and this immediately led to excellent results with strong sales increases.
Unfortunately, this flexibility is not as simple as it sounds nor is it instantaneous! The difficulty lies in part in the limited space available within many hardware store set-ups as well as the lack of willingness on the part of vendors to invest in a large warehouse.
Nevertheless, we hope to overcome this difficulty once the unknowns in the overall system gradually dissipate.
(Interview for the magazine Ferramenta 2000, May 2021, Italy)