ALESSI, a houseware and kitchen utensils company from Italy, is banking its growth on Cebu’s booming real estate sector and furniture industry.

According to Michael Harris Conlin, president of Henry and Sons Trading and Manufacturing Co., Inc., exclusive distributor of Alessi in the Philippines, the robust property sector in Cebu presents growth opportunities for Alessi, whose products are well-known globally because of their high quality and innovative designs.

“We decided to finally come to Cebu because we think the market here is ready,” said Conlin. “The presence of high-end residential and commercial projects as well as Cebuanos’ penchant for creativity looks promising for the business.”

Alessi opened its first outlet in Cebu in Ayala Center last Friday. This is its first branch outside Manila, after Fort Bonifacio in Taguig and Greenbelt in Makati.

Luca Alessi, international sales and development manager for Asia-Pacific, said the Philippines “is among the most advanced markets” of Alessi. Other top markets are Japan, Australia and Taiwan.

Last year, according to Conlin, sales in the Philippines grew by 10 percent. It expects to grow further this year, with the addition of Cebu and the sustained high consumer spending among the middle class. Luca also sees Alessi’s presence in Cebu as one that complements the furniture industry. “We have accessories that go well with your furniture,” he said.

Alessi has worked with over 250 designers all over the world. “Cebuanos are very much into design. We are interested in tapping into Filipino creativity,” Luca said.