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Global Office Furniture & Storage Furniture Industry


Growth in the worldwide office and storage furniture market is being fuelled by rising use of computers and technology, reports research firm SBI. Office furniture wholesalers supply office furniture items such as cubicle partitions, bookcases, furniture parts, cabinets, filing cabinets, desks and chairs. Companies can purchase ready-made or made-to-order furniture, and products are sold both assembled and unassembled.


Office furniture makers have sought to survive the recession through sustainability measures, M&A strategies, overseas markets and by introducing new distribution channels. Office furniture and storage furniture market growth is fuelled by rising service sector employment and developments in technological innovation.


Regional Market Share


The US online office furniture sales market is expected to record strong growth as employment levels rise and the base of internet users expands, reports IBIS World. Office furniture retailers will benefit from recovery in the economy, growing employment and rising corporate profit. Office furniture products sold online include tables, seating and desks. Obstacles to market growth include competition from brick-and-mortar stores.


The US office furniture manufacturing market witnessed declining growth between 2007 and 2012, reports IBIS World. Dwindling corporate profit and growing unemployment have caused a falling-off in demand. Competition from imports has also weakened the domestic market. Over the five-year period ending 2012, the market declined at a yearly rate of close to 7%. However, the market is expected to record close to 4% growth in 2012, reaching almost $21 billion thanks to rising employment and economic recovery.


Around 50% of all US office furniture exports are purchased by Canada, reports BIFMA. The US also imports from Canada, getting more than 60% of its office furniture from Canada in 2000, though only about 40% of US imports of office furniture come from Canada today, and around the same from China.


Russia’s office furniture market is recording strong growth, reports BRIC Data, due to economic growth and commercial construction in Russia. Russia’s adherence to liberal market conditions and growing privatization will drive demand for newly developed office premises. In 2009, the nation’s office furniture market declined due to the economic crisis, and in 2010 it entered a phase of recovery thanks to improvements in the world economy. Russia’s office furniture market is known for its design, innovation and office interior solutions. The Russian office furniture market is dependent to a large extent on imports and domestic production.


Brazil’s office furniture industry is led by firms such as Inca Metal Industry, Adami, Solidor and Angel Lucci Cadeiras, reports BRIC Data. Globalization, privatization and liberalization are expected to continue fuelling demand for office furniture in Brazil. Market economy development along with corporate demand for high-quality office premise design continues to motivate companies to purchase more technologically advanced office furniture products.


The UK office furniture is forecast to be around 18% smaller in 2012 than previously predicted in January due to a deteriorating economic forecast.


Over the past 10-year period, demand for office furniture products in China has been witnessing a strong rate of growth. Over the next five-year period, AMID Co predicts that office furniture demand and production will continue to grow in China.



Market Outlook


Obstacles to office furniture manufacturers operating in the global office furniture and storage furniture market today include competition from distribution channels such as online furniture sellers, unused office space and economic volatility. Other factors affecting the furniture producers include rising costs of raw materials and the availability of second-hand furniture in the market. In addition, during economic recessions, unemployment soars, which negatively impacts demand for office furniture.


Moving forward, the global furniture market may see greater growth opportunities, depending on economic recovery and the state of global real estate industries, reports Koncept Analytics. Positive influence factors in the global office furniture market over the coming years include: a trend towards team work leading to rising demand for meeting tables; increased demand for personal storage; and widespread computerization giving rise to demand for furniture catering for IT equipment.



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Parent industry:  Office Goods

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