IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

The Natuzzi group and the Bari -Matera (Italy) upholstered furniture district: a case study of internationalisation in a traditional industry


  • Giovanni BELGIOJOSO


  • Cristina CASTELLI




  • Massimo FLORIO



The case-study focuses on the strategies adopted by the Natuzzi Group, world leader of the upholstered furniture sector, located in the Bari-Matera district (Southern Italy), to face increasing global competition and on their effects. In particular we consider the modes and determinants of productive internationalisation, carried out since 2000 by Natuzzi in China, Brazil and Romania to produce middle-low end products. By improving the competitiveness of the price-sensitive segment, the strategy contributed to the successful expansion of the Group until 2002. However, high range products, manufactured in Italy, record decreasing sales especially on the US market, despite the company’s efforts in R&D and marketing and its investments in information technology. Moreover, due to Natuzzi’s considerable weight in the district, the Group’s performance impacts on the network of subcontracting firms, where a restructuring process is underway, raising questions about the evolution of the district.

Suggested Citation

  • Giovanni BELGIOJOSO & Cristina CASTELLI & Sara COLAUTTI & Massimo FLORIO, 2008. "The Natuzzi group and the Bari -Matera (Italy) upholstered furniture district: a case study of internationalisation in a traditional industry," Departmental Working Papers 2008-42, Department of Economics, Management and Quantitative Methods at Università degli Studi di Milano.
  • Handle: RePEc:mil:wpdepa:2008-42

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Stefano Costa & Giovanni Ferri, 2008. "Firing at Subcontractors? Spillover Employment Effects of Offshoring in Italy," Development Working Papers 238, Centro Studi Luca d'Agliano, University of Milano.
    2. Stefano Federico & Gaetano Alfredo Minerva, 2008. "Outward FDI and Local Employment Growth in Italy," Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv), Springer;Institut für Weltwirtschaft (Kiel Institute for the World Economy), vol. 144(2), pages 295-324, July.
    3. Massimo Florio & Anna Giunta, 1998. "Planning Contracts in Southern Italy, 1986-1997: a Prelimary Evaluation," Departmental Working Papers 1998-04, Department of Economics, Management and Quantitative Methods at Università degli Studi di Milano.
    4. Yeats, Alexander J., 1998. "Just how big is global production sharing?," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1871, The World Bank.
    5. Giovannetti Giorgia & Mazzeo Elena, 2008. "Industrial Structure and Competitiveness: Crucial Elements in the Internationalization of the Italian Economy," L'industria, Società editrice il Mulino, issue 1, pages 117-134.
    6. Davide Castellani & Ilaria Mariotti & Lucia Piscitello, 2006. "Outward investments and skill upgrading. Evidence from the Italian case," KITeS Working Papers 185, KITeS, Centre for Knowledge, Internationalization and Technology Studies, Universita' Bocconi, Milano, Italy, revised Nov 2006.
    7. Anna Giunta & Francesco Trivieri, 2007. "Understanding the determinants of information technology adoption: evidence from Italian manufacturing firms," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 39(10), pages 1325-1334.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item


    Internationalisation; industrial district; subcontracting;

    JEL classification:

    • F20 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - General
    • R32 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Real Estate Markets, Spatial Production Analysis, and Firm Location - - - Other Spatial Production and Pricing Analysis
    • L14 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Transactional Relationships; Contracts and Reputation

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:mil:wpdepa:2008-42. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (DEMM Working Papers). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.