Furniture industry has changed over the years. It no longer restricts itself to a production of a chair or a table or a bed but today it includes manufacturing of a range of furniture and home furnishings and designed interiors which spell class and elegance. There is a boom time for furniture industry. Every country sport a string of furniture showrooms of all kinds and sizes. Changing lifestyle, disposable incomes, economy growth, increasing migration to urban areas have all contributed to the demand for furniture and in turn the growth of the furniture industry as whole.
Furniture industry comprises not only the production of a wide range of products related to office, living room, bedroom, kitchen , garden, school furniture but also mattresses, furnishings, upholstery, parts of furniture etc. A wide variety of raw materials are used in production of furniture like wood, rattan, plastic and metal and more recently silver. Including various varieties of wood, wooden furniture is the major production and exports of the furniture industry in almost every country.
Characteristics of the furniture industry
- Furniture manufacturing worldwide forms a regionally centralized competition pattern under the clustering effect.
- The furniture industry is both a organized and a non-organized sector.
- Utilization of skilled and unskilled workers.
- Utilization of handcrafted tools, machines and CAD/CAM for manufacturing and designing.
- Source of employment for rural workers.
- Employment is spread across many sectors showing the diverse nature of the industry and a broad product range.
- Consumer expectations and purchasing behaviors have marked regional variations.
As the world economy is developing fast in the past 10 years, the furniture markets have opened up more and the world furniture industry has been growing fast.
Traditional furniture making countries continue to firmly take up over 70% of the global market. This is possible because of their their long established production capacity, advancement in science and technology, solid funds and rich management experiences.
Meanwhile, developing countries and regions like China, Southeast Asia, Poland and Mexico, with China taking the lead, have built upon their respective competitive advantages and gradually have covered almost 30% of the world market. The furniture industry in such countries is developing strongly and showing great potentials.
The European Union furniture industry accounts for about half of the world's furniture production. The production value of this industry in this region is around 82 billion. Considered to be a labor-intensive industry it provides employment for around 1 million people. Among the European countries, Germany takes the lead as the largest furniture producing country, accounting for about 27% of total EU production. This is followed by Italy (21.6%), France (13.5%) and the UK (10.4%).
The Canadian Furniture Industry is the 5th largest exporter of furniture in the world.
The major furniture producing countries in South East Asia are Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, Korea ,Taiwan and India. In the context of global furniture trade, Asia shows healthy signs of growth with respect to its other international competitors. Asian furniture have always been popular in developed countries like USA, Europe and Australia.
Over 20 years of fast growth, China has been able to bring unlimited business opportunities and vitality to the global furniture industry. Now, China has today emerged as a furniture production center, a circulation center as well as an exhibition center in the world. The rise of China's furniture industry has brought about a new round of restructuring of the global furniture industry and trade pattern. According to a recent estimate , the Indian furniture industry is estimated at around Rs 350 billion . Eighty-five per cent of this falls into the unorganized sector. According to a study by the World Bank, the organized furniture industry is expected to grow by 20 per cent a year and India, Brazil and Russia will witness a boom.