Throughout this time, Dahlgren Duck has added the finishing touches to an enormous number of superyachts, specifying, sourcing and supplying furniture, tableware, linens, and accessories for yachts ranging in size from 30 to 140+ metres. Yachts that they have worked with have been showcased at the likes of Cannes, Dubai, and the world-renowned Monaco Yacht Show.
With a new year now underway and time to reflect, what did Dahlgren Duck achieve over the course of 2022?
"Over the course of the past year, we have had the opportunity to confirm and reassure the industry of what we are capable of," says Alejandro Hahn, Managing Director of Dahlgren Duck.
"2022 has been highly valuable because it has allowed us to confirm our level of service, and our level of reach. It has been a year to keep growing, whilst providing a highly unique level of expertise, that I hope will set the foundations for the next 40 years. This is a very important milestone, and I'm extremely proud of how recognisable we are."
Alejandro Hahn took on the role as Managing Director in 2019 with a hunger for a new challenge; the challenge at hand being the company's impressive 40+ year heritage and history. Hahn expressed his admiration for being able to work in an industry that appreciates and preserves beauty, and how lucky he feels to guide such a beloved and esteemed company in a new direction, in new parts of the world.
Tell us about your "think global, act local" approach.
With offices located across several continents and customers becoming more mobile, Dahlgren Duck have plans to continue to expand globally, beyond the scope of Dallas, Denver, Dubai and London, to ensure they have consistent contact with clients; particularly those who are not grounded in one specific place.
"What continues to set us apart is that we are based in different locations. The U.S., Canada, UK/EU and now the Middle East. That is what helps us to act 'local', to be physically close to our client and understand the needs they have, as well as the culture and logic of the business and bureaucracy itself," says Hahn.
In 2023 Dahlgren Duck will open a showroom in Mayfair, London. A truly unique space to enhance the experience and journey of each customer. This is truly a landmark moment for a future-orientated company; acting as an incredible networking hub to welcome their clients, meet with partners, launch products and introduce stakeholders. It will be the ultimate meeting point to make connections for business, and to get to know each client on a more personal level.
In addition to the UK central warehouse, in 2021 Dahlgren Duck started to operate from a state-of-the-art logistic centre in The Netherlands, which happens to be located nearby all major Dutch, German and Italian shipyards, and constitutes the hub for all the projects in the EU and Middle East. It’s here that all pieces are received, carefully quality checked and repacked before they are shipped to their final destination.
Along with their showroom, Dahlgren Duck's Distribution Centres in both Denver and Dallas provides their clients logistical advantages, allowing each team to provide support for their residential and hospitality clients, hold products with long lead times, and ensure quick and accurate delivery.
Both centres can source, consolidate, palletize, and ship entire OSE and FF&E packages for hotels, resort developments and destination club homes. In addition, Dahlgren Duck provides 3PL services from some of the world’s top luxury brands.
Why do you feel it is vital to have a global reach and what changes have you noticed in your approach to business as a result?
"I think we have noticed a real shift in how quickly we can meet with our customers. We can offer an immediate response, because we are already there, in the area, with more than 100+ people on hand across the company for you to talk to at any time."
"They can count on us wherever they are, it really is a game-changer. No other company can offer this. No other company has the global reach that we have," he adds.
What are the rewards of having a global reach?
"There is certainly more than one. One of the main rewards is that we can buy locally all over the world, which is far more sustainable. By having offices in different locations, we're able to avoid unnecessary flights, and reduce any negative impact on the environment, whilst also being more cost efficient."
The ability to warehouse the products that luxury clients frequently require continues to be rare in such an industry, yet Dahlgren Duck's centres are stocked with the finest homeware brands, allowing them to help manage client needs and lead times, and ship products all over the world.
What is the most effective way for Dahlgren Duck to connect with their clients?
"Word of mouth is crucial. Happy customers are happy to return, and to refer. They don't work with us just once, they continue to come back. Although we receive lots of digital enquiries, we love interacting with our customers and meeting potential new ones in person, especially at yacht shows in the U.S., Europe and Middle East, or at private functions and events."
How far are your design team willing to go to complete a custom order?
"We go above and beyond. We work with over 300 brands, where many of our products are custom, allowing us to approach each order in a very detailed way. Each customer has a different taste, needs and personal preference when it comes to style, which is why we never replicate any of our pieces. Any crystal or china is envisioned and created from scratch. Being bespoke is at the very heart of our focus here."
At the outset of any project, each client is provided with a dedicated Project Manager; a partner through the entire project life cycle who will be their direct contact and liaison to the team to ensure every detail is attended, along with a detailed project proposal, schedule management, and if needed, coordinating installation.
Customers can also access their own private client portal, where they can make re-orders and replenishments with one single click.
How has your clientele within the yachting industry changed over the past few years and how have you adapted to their demands?
"There has been a huge drive in sustainability, as well as more interest from a much younger generation, many of whom have demands for crazier, more outlandish yacht designs. Another difference we have noticed is that far more pieces and objects we are asked to design or help curate are for socialising; to add to vast entertainment spaces and create a platform of sorts."
Do you have any exciting projects on the horizon?
"Luxury never sleeps, and neither do we. We are always working on adding more services and brands to our portfolio. We will continue to expand digitally and geographically in all areas of business, yachting, residential, hospitality and aviation. We also want to continue to support and preserve craftsmanship, including local craftsmen and artisans, as their talent and vision lies at the very heart of what we do."
With 2022 now drawn to a close and the new year in full swing, we cannot wait to see what 2023 holds for Dahlgren Duck.
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