The furniture market operates in close call with the housing industry which was severely affected by the economic downturn. Despite the recovery, growth remains unstable as customer confidence continues to waver in view of the volatile economic environment in Europe, soaring gasoline costs and subdued employment rates. With no significant increase in personal incomes or in sale of homes, the furniture market is yet to pick up pace. Faced with declining margins and intensely competitive conditions, several manufacturers shifted their production operations to emerging nations as part of efforts to cut costs. Furniture sales are expected to recover with improvement in housing sales. Factors such as value and product mix, innovative marketing and capacity to maintain and deliver inventories of fabric and furniture frames continue to influence sales of furniture. Though replacement sales offer potential opportunities, reduced discretionary spending and prolonged replacement cycles continue to hamper growth prospects. While the growing levels of sophistication of modern lifestyles will continue to drive gains in this market, the present financial troubles are casting the spotlight on cost effective, mass-market products.
Long-term growth in the global furniture and fixtures market is expected from Asia, owing to steady economic growth and rising standards of living. Further, increasing migration towards urban areas, rising disposable incomes, and changing lifestyles are expected to offer favorable prospects for market participants. Flourishing property industry and tourist industry in developing economies is expected to foster the demand for hotel and residential furniture, along with other high-end products. Globalization and changing consumer behavior is contributing to the increased demand for luxury furniture in emerging markets such as China, Russia, India, and Brazil.
The research report titled “Furniture and Fixtures: A Global Outlook” announced by Global Industry Analysts, Inc., expects the global furniture and fixtures industry to reach US$436.5 Billion by 2015.