The Contract furniture and Furnishings market in Europe
The contract furniture production in Europe currently amounts to around Eur 14 billion, of which the largest part is destined for projects within Europe, while less than 20% is addressed outside, towards North America, the Middle East, and Asia-Pacific.
According to CSIL’s report 2023 ‘The contract furniture and furnishings market in Europe‘, the major manufacturing countries in this segment are Italy, Germany, the United Kingdom, Poland, and Sweden, representing together over 60% of the total European contract furniture production.
The project sector has been severely hit by the pandemic and following a significant drop in 2020 it has returned to grow over the last two years. With the uncertainties emerged in the international socioeconomic scenario, the outlook for the near future is nonetheless positive. A full recovery of the market values is expected within 2024.
THE COMPANIES MARKET APPROACH
According to a sample of 200 European specialist contract manufacturers surveyed by CSIL at the scope of the report, the company revenues in the sector are represented for 77% by internal manufacturing (own portfolio) on average, while about 23% is composed by traded products from other manufacturers.
The share of traded products tends to be higher depending on the kind and dimension of the single project. Generally speaking, for the interior fit-out companies with internal production (I.e. Ovebury, ISG, Input Interior) that manage large turn-key projects, traded products have a relevant incidence on the turnover, while for the ‘traditional’ furniture manufacturers (Molteni, Lago, Pedrali, Arper, Fermob, EMU, etc.) the own portfolio, although customized, represent 90% or more of the business.
The sample of manufacturers also gave indication about the market approach to the contract business. About 40% of the revenues of the sample are represented by project managed through general contractors, a 36% is managed through dealers active in contract and turn-key projects and only 24% of sample turnover is represented by direct sales to final clients (i.e. hotel chains).
The market approach highly depends on the destination segment. In the Education business, especially for kindergarten and K-12, direct sales to municipalities and institutions is by far the preferred option as it happens for Healthcare, Museums, Theatres and other public facilities.