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The Ready-to-Assemble furniture industry developing fast


In the last twenty years, the Ready to Assemble (RTA)* furniture industry has developed fast, in terms of both the industry’s size and the products (support materials, finishing, assembling solutions) and distribution channels (registering a sharp increase in online sales).


According to CSIL (‘The European Market for RTA Furniture’ Report 2022), the RTA furniture industry increased by 3% yearly during the period 2016-2021, registering a higher growth rate compared to the performance of the fully assembled furniture production. The weight of the RTA furniture industry increased over time on the whole furniture industry and reached a value exceeding Eur 15 billion.


It is a relatively concentrated segment. The four largest countries in the European market control over 60% of the supply, and the ten largest countries control over 85% (against 80% for the furniture industry). With a production value of over Eur 3 billion, Poland and Germany are the two leading producing countries for RTA furniture, followed by Lithuania and Italy. Over the last twenty years, Eastern Europe eroded market shares to some traditional furniture-producing countries, such as the United Kingdom and France (where some leading RTA furniture manufacturers ceased their activity or moved production outside their country).


Driven by sourcing policies of leading furniture chains and supported by European funds, Eastern Europe developed a large production capacity, particularly in the RTA furniture industry. In the area (mainly in Poland, but also in Lithuania, Slovakia, and Hungary), various production units of the IKEA Industry and important IKEA suppliers are located. Poland has a large production capacity destined for the middle/middle-low market range. IKEA has a significant foothold in the Polish market, with close to 10,000 workers employed at 18 production facilities. Currently, Poland is the second largest producing country of IKEA globally - almost 20% of furniture products are made in Poland.


The competitive system is also concentrated, significantly more when compared to the furniture industry, and composed mainly of large companies. The leading 50 European RTA furniture manufacturers represent an estimated 50% of the total RTA furniture production, a share that progressively increased over the last five years. This value, if compared to the whole furniture sector, is significant.


According to CSIL estimates, the top 50 European furniture manufacturers account for around 25% of the total European furniture production. A polarization exists between the furniture giant IKEA and all other furniture manufacturers with much lower market shares. IKEA’s development drives the industry both in terms of production and market trends.


Considering the total IKEA product supply, about 90% is sourced from external suppliers. Leading European suppliers are Poland, Italy, Lithuania, Germany, and Sweden. IKEA Industry’s focus is wood-based furniture. Its operations are conducted through 40 production units that include forestry, sawmills, and production of board material, wood components, and RTA furniture. IKEA Industry Group’s top five production countries are Poland, Russia, Slovakia, Portugal, and Sweden.



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