Marc Machtelinckx owns and manages the European Light and Design Centre, which recently opened the first Flos showroom in Africa at the Keyes Art Mile in Johannesburg.
How did your business start?
I had been working in the lighting industry and I saw the need in the South African market for high-end designer lighting of a high quality, so I established the European Light and Design Centre in Cape Town in 2001. We exclusively represent more than 10 European manufacturers, but our new Johannesburg showroom showcases only designs from Flos.
Why did you choose this area to set up shop?
The Keyes Art Miles is synonymous with art and curated pieces, which makes it the perfect setting for the unique Flos product range. We believe that when you purchase a Flos product you purchase far more than just a light fitting but rather acquire an art piece that’s well worth the investment, and we needed to be in the right area to convey that.
How did you find your premises?
It was recommended by a business connection.
Why are the premises ideally suited to your business?
It’s a good space that attracts the right kind of people. The Art Mile has many high-end art and furniture shops, and our products are more like art pieces than light fittings, so we feel that we’re in the right place. There are also lots of social events here that get us a lot of exposure.
Who are your neighbours?
We are situated between Cassina and Southern Guild Art Gallery.
What are the shop rental/sales prices like in this area?
Similar to the surrounding retailers and art galleries in the Keyes Art Mile building.
How many people go through your store each day?
The art-orientated setting attracts a steady flow of people from all walks of life and the close proximity to the Gautrain attracts many foreign travellers.
Do you have any expansion plans?
We are always open to new opportunities and ensure that we stock the latest designer fittings from across Europe.
Do you operate online as well?
Flos has a very comprehensive website that includes the information on all of our items, but all purchases are done in store to ensure clients get a personalised retail experience.
What’s your most popular item?
Two of the most popular items are the Gun Table lamp by Philippe Starck and the Zeppelin Light pendant by Marcel Wanders.
The provocative Gun Lamp with its chrome AK47 base both fascinates and shocks customers, but all for a good cause as Philippe Starck uses his design platform to create awareness against violence and guns.
The Zeppelin is best described as a traditional chandelier captured within a cocoon, the soft diffused light and the blend of modern and classical elements makes it an ideal feature that suites any style of interior.
See for yourself:
European Light and Design Centre
010 594 5131