China is the new leader in the world’s furniture industry
The boom in the furniture market is because of the continuous growth in the Chinese economy happening over the last 30 years. This economic growth has also increased the purchasing power of the Chinese people, and led to an improved living standard. Thus, the demand for furniture supplies has increased more than ever.
According to statistics presented by the China National Furniture Association, an increase of 25.28% is seen in 2011 as compared to 2010 in the terms of the furniture output. This percentage equates to US $83.16 billion.
Apart from the rising demand of furniture in China, a noticeable increase in terms of how much is exported is also noticed as well. In 2011, the revenue generated from the export of furniture amounted to the US $59.37 billion. This has also resulted in a decrease in the importing of furniture by 10.8% equal to US $27.84.
Although between the years 2010 and 2013, the local furniture market in China has experienced some downfall, it is still the leading manufacturer of furniture worldwide. This article will discuss the Chinese furniture market including why Chinese furniture is best, how the furniture market is helping country’s economy and where you can get best furniture in China.
The Myth of “Made in China”
The myth of “Made in China” is popular around the world. People think that Chinese products are synonymous with low quality. This is definitely not the case. Had the Chinese been manufacturing furniture while compromising on its quality, its exports wouldn’t have increased magnanimously. This viewpoint has seen a change in the Western world since designers have started getting their furniture manufactured in China.
You have more and more quality suppliers in China, that are able to produce quality products at affortable prices, like Nakesi, a Guangdong factory, doing only OEM for high end customers Overseas.
When did China Become the Largest Exporter of Furniture
Before China, Italy was the largest exporter of furniture. However, in the year 2004, China became the country with the highest number of furniture exports. From that day on there has been no looking for this country and it is still providing the world with the most amount of furniture. Many of the leading furniture designers have their furniture produced in China, although usually, they avoid talking about it. The population of China is also playing a vital role in making this country the biggest exporter of many products, including furniture.
The Exclusivity of the Chinese Furniture Market
The furniture in Chinese markets is unique. You can even find furniture items which don’t use any nails or glue. The traditional Chinese furniture makers believe that nails and glue reduces the life of furniture because nails rust and glue can get loose. They design furniture in such a way that allow all parts to connect with each other to eliminate the use of screws, glue and nails. This type of furniture can survive for centuries if they are made of high-quality wood. You must try this types to truly test the exceptional engineering mentality of Chinese furniture makers. You will be amazed to see how they connect different parts without leaving any sign of connection. It seems that only one piece of wood is used to build the entire piece.
Areas where the Local Furniture Industry is Concentrated at in China
China is a big country and has its local furniture industry based in different locations. The Pearl River Delta boasts the highest production of furniture. It has a thriving furniture market because there is a great availability of natural resources. Other areas which are known for their wonderful skills in producing high-quality furniture are Shanghai, Shandong, Fujian, Jiangsusuperheroand Zhejiang. Since Shanghai is the largest metropolitan city of China, it has a huge furniture market, probably the largest in the Yangtze river delta. The central and western regions of China lack the proper infrastructure in terms of resources and facilities to have a thriving furniture industry. This industry is still in its early days over there and will take time to develop.
The capital city of China, Beijing, has an amazing flow of resources available for the production of furniture. All the tools and facilities required for furniture production are also present there, thus more and more furniture manufacturers are interested in having their corporate offices opened in Beijing.
Why China Produces Much Better Quality Furniture when Compared to Other Countries
Although China may have a reputation of producing substandard products, it does produce excellent quality furniture. According to a survey, more than 50,000 companies manufacture furniture in China. Surprisingly, most of them are small to medium sized enterprises with no brand name attached to them. In recent years, some companies have definitely emerged in the furniture producing sector having their own brand identities. These companies have increased the level of competition in the industry.
A survey conducted by the Hong Kong Trade Developmental Council (HKTDC) revealed that the small to medium furniture enterprises in China can make a lot of money if even a small percentage of the total Chinese population decide to get rid of its old fashioned furniture and buy into a more modern aesthetic.
The increase in revenue is the most important indicator that China produces better quality furniture as compared to its competitors. According to a study, in the year 2010 alone, 60% of the total revenue of China came from its furniture industry through selling locally as well as in the international market.
While metal furniture is now becoming more popular in the West as compared to the wood furniture, China is expected to surpass the west in this field because of its amazing furniture producing skills and no compromise on quality.
The Rise of Urbanization in China and its Impact on the Furniture Market
China has been experiencing a boom in its economy and there seems to be no stopping it anytime soon. The younger generation is now moving towards urban areas because of job opportunities, better education, and a comparatively better lifestyle. Since the new generation is more trend-savvy and independent, many of them are living independently. the ever increasing trend of building new houses has also taken the furniture industry to yet another level.
Due to urbanization, different brands have also surfaced in the Chinese furniture industry. Their most loyal customers are younger people, who tend to be better at adopting the new trends, and have significant purchasing power as well. This urbanization is also affecting the furniture marketing in negative way. It is leading reduction of forest and the high-quality wood is becoming more scarce and expensive. Moreover there are lots of organizations which are working to preserve the environment to limit deforestation. The government is taking initiative to increase the number of trees in the country to ensure that the furniture market in China keeps thriving while keeping the environment safe. This process is slow therefore furniture makers in China import wood from other countries and some organizations export finished wooden products and furniture to China.
China for IKEA is a very good and mature market, and the brand increase their market share every year.
skynews : Record sales at Ikea driven by rapid growth in China
The Popularity of “Eco-friendly” Furniture in China
The concept of eco-friendly furniture is quite popular these days. The Chinese consumers understand its importance andare thus are ready to invest in it even though they have to pay a higher price. Eco-friendly furniture is free from any type of harmful chemicals which may include artificial odor as well as formaldehyde which can be harmful to one’s health.
The Chinese government also cares about the environment a lot. This is why the Environmental Protection Law was introduced by the government in 2015. Because of this law, many furniture companies were forced to shut down as their methods were not in lieu with new protectionist policies. The law was further made clear in the December of the same year so that furniture manufacturers are clear about the need to use formaldehyde free products which can be harmful to surroundings.
The Demand for Kids’ Furniture
Since China follows the two child policy, many new parents want to give their children the best that they have got. So, a rise in the demand of kid’s furniture is seen in China. Parents want their kids to have everything from his own bed to his own study table whilst a crib and a bassinet are also needed when a child is small.
A study shows that 72% of Chinese parents want to go for the premium furniture for their kids keeping in mind their child’s safety. The premium furniture is more suitable for kids as it is free from any type of harmful material and is less accident prone. So, the parents don’t generally have to worry about sharp edges. Furthermore, the premium furniture is also available in different styles, colors as well as cartoon and super hero characters which are popular among kids of different age groups.
The Increase in the Production of Office Furniture
China is among one of the most popular hubs for economic activities. Many international brands are investing in China every year. Many multinationals, as well as domestic corporations, have their offices over here, while many more organizations are also opening every other month. This is why a huge increase in the demand for office furniture has been observed. Since deforestation is causing serious problems in China plastic and glass furniture is becoming more popular especially in offices. There are some non-profit organizations who are working to create awareness about the benefits of non-wooden furniture in the long run. Chinese people have a serious awareness of this fact because they are experiencing the adverse affects of deforestation in and around various cities.
Furniture Production and the Opening of Hotels
Every hotel requires stylish and elegant furniture to ensure the comfort of customers and attract them. Some hotels and restaurants get customers not because of the taste of their food but because of their furniture and other such facilities. It is a challenge to find the best suited furniture in huge stock at low rates but if you are in China you can get innovative furniture easily.
Another factor which the economic boom has given birth to is the concept of more and more hotels opening up in China. They range from 1 star to 5-star hotels which are always competing with each other. The hotels not only want to provide the best possible services to their guests but also want to give themselves a contemporary look. This is why; the furniture industry is always busy in providing high quality and trendy furniture to the various hotels present in China.
The Furniture Industry Provides a lot of Job Opportunities
Due to its amazingly high population, China has a lot of people looking for job opportunities. The furniture industry has provided many jobs. Since the making of the furniture involves everything from cutting wood to delivering it, the whole process involves a lot of labor. The initial purpose of developing the furniture industry by the Chinese government was to provide its poor people with options to work and provide for their families. Initially, its target market was low to medium local consumers only. The rate of unemployment in the country also meant that the Chinese government did not have a lot of unnecessary rules imposed upon its manufacturers as well. The next step for these industries is to find a work force which can work in novel techniques. The world is advancing and now metallic alloys, plastic, glasses, and polymer materials have entered the furniture market. Furniture made up of these materials is relatively inexpensive and causes less damage to the environment when compared to wooden furniture. To manufacture furniture made up of unique material, industries should have an appropriate work force. So, if you have unique talent in this field then you are the future of this industry and you can use your skill to earn a fortune.
Outsourcing of Western Furniture
China has become the most popular furniture market even in the West. Even the designers rely on the Chinese market to provide them with the best quality furniture with a fantastic finish at a reasonable price. Even the cloth to be used on various furniture items is also imported from China because of its unmatchable quality. Shang Xia and Mary Ching are two Chinese companies which have partnered with various Western counterparts for the export of their furniture.
There are also many designers who import furniture from China but sell them with their own brand name. This is the very reason why China is now emerging as a trustworthy furniture market at the Western as well as the international front. Ironically, the same furniture which is manufactured in Italy or America costs over double in price when compared to one manufactured in China and exported to these very same countries. China knows how to adopt the Western sense of style in manufacturing and designing its furniture instead of simply conforming to what is produced in Asia and specifically China.
American Retailers & Chinese Furniture
Many American retailers have a keen interest in the Chinese furniture. Giants like IKEA and Havertys export furniture from China and sell them in their shops. Other brands like Ashley Furniture, Rooms to go, Ethan Allan and Raymour & Flanigan are some of the other companies which sell furniture made in China. Ashley Furniture has even opened some stores in China as well to bring more power to the Chinese consumer.
However, in America, the cost of buying furniture has started to reduce. The American furniture industry is again improving and the labor price has also decreased as well. Furthermore, many American companies are now partnering with Italian leather manufacturers for the production of leather furniture. But still, Chinese furniture is high in demand and will remain so for a long time.
The Demand of Furniture Malls
China is definitely keeping up with the furniture game well. Many furniture malls are now opening in the country due to high consumer demands. The potential customers prefer visiting these malls instead of going to a standalone shop because of the variety and the different types of pricing on offer there. Many companies have their own websites as well for their tech-friendly customers.
Guangdong the furniture center in China !
70% of furniture suppliers are based in Guangdong province. The Chinese furniture industry is definitely going to go places with the right amount of marketing and by maintaining a high manufacturing standard. The affordable prices combined with no compromise on quality have made it a favorite not just in the local but in the international market as well. Here is a short list of most popular furniture markets, malls, and shops in China.
China Furniture Wholesale Market (Shunde)
This enormous market is located in the district of Shunde. It has almost every kind of furniture. The size of this market can be imagined from the fact that it has more than furniture from 1500 manufacturer. This kind of extensive option can cause confusion therefore it is better to know the most popular and reliable furniture maker before entering the market. Moreover, you will not be able to check all shops because this market is 5 Km long with over 20 different streets. The best thing about this market is that you may find your desired furniture from the very first shop in the market. This market is also known as Foshan Lecong wholesale furniture market because this market is close to the Lecong town.
Louvre Furniture Mall
If you are looking for high-end furniture with exceptionally high quality, unique design, and attractive texture then this place is for you. It is more like a palace than a mall. The environment of this mall is very comfortable therefore you can easily explore it for several hours. If you are a businessman and want to start a furniture business then you must give this mall a try because you will get high quality furniture at optimum rates. This mall has become a key source for the furniture industry in China. You do not need to worry about scams as all shops in this area are very reliable. If you are a traveler and don’t know where to buy reliable furniture without getting scammed then this place is best for you.
Ajman China Mall (Foshan)
This mall has shops for fashion accessories, clothes, and electronic devices. You can also get soft furnishing materials. The number of furniture shops in this mall is less as compared to Foshan Lecong market and Louvre mall but the variety and quality is impeccable. If you want to buy all types of home décor products including inventive furniture.
China has very high population density. Most people can’t afford to but big furniture for their home. This mall has folding furniture which can help you have bed, dining table, seats, and sofa in one small room. You can fold the furniture when you are not using it. This is the future of furniture in China and Ajman mall has already playing its role in introducing this futuristic furniture to the Chinese people.
So, now you have comprehensive knowledge about the furniture industry and markets in China. You can get best furniture for your home, shop, and office from aforementioned markets.
How to Promote your Furniture Brands in China ?
We have written a good article about this subject HERE
There are 2 main ways on social Chinese networks : Wechat and Weibo.
Every brand needs to have a strong reputation for success in China, and good branding online to attract customers.
Especially concerning the furniture equipment, you have some specialized websites dedicated to these kind of products where you can create your own press release content in order to reach your targeted customers.
SEO on Baidu
You have to get great visibility on Baidu to attract visitors and potential clients. Let’s talk about Ethnicraft, they have succeeded in gettig a great online visibility in Shanghai. (more information here)
Tmall & other platforms
If you want to sell online, it is possible with Tmall , you can have a eshop and start to sell directly your product to Chinese clients.
If you want to market you Brand in China, do not hesitate to contact us.