Home > Focus On
ITALIAN FURNITURE THROWS DOWN AN INTERNATIONAL GUANTLET FROM LIVENZA TO THE LOW-COST SECTOR
In the Italian furniture market quality throws down a challenge to the low-cost sector and manages to win hands down abroad. This is the commercial victory achieved by one of the leading names in the Italian manufacturing sector that has the province of Pordenone as its capital. The manufacturing district of Livenza , a historical point of reference for the wood transformation industry, can lay claim to this achievement on an international scale. During the last year the district’s exports grew by 8%, compared with 5% nationally. In overall value terms, Pordenone’s wood and furniture industry is one that retains an annual turnover of €696 million abroad, against imports that totalled €116 million.
“The domestic market is experiencing a period of stagnation with levels of production that are effectively at a standstill” explains Mauro Massero, Chairman of the Furniture District of Livenza. “Abroad, however, sales are going from strength to strength with performances improving from one year to the next. In the light of all of this it is clear that we intend to focus precisely on international relations and we are doing this through the promotion of group projects what will provide opportunities for even the smallest companies and by anticipating a relaunch of the contract sector.”
A breakdown of commercial figures reveal a two-speed expansion, with the wood sector having suffered the most from the effects of the crisis that reveal themselves in a slowdown in manufacturing and in the furniture sector that continues to achieve results that are higher than the domestic average. In geographical terms the European Union features highly when it comes to exports and the calculations for the year 2011 recorded that around 70% of exports were bound for the countries of the old continent. Equally interesting are the figures that relate to exports to non EU countries, which, in the last year, have risen by 24.5% achieving a total overall figure that reaches almost 13% of the entire production figures intended for export.
Returning to Europe, the three major openings in 2011 were in the United Kingdom, Germany and France which, as a whole, represented 81.2% of total exports. Leading the way was the United Kingdom with product purchases totalling more than €6.2 million or 26.8%, followed by Poland with €2.1million or 9.2% and Russia with €1.5 million or 6.3%. The number of non EU territories with which the district of Livenza maintains business contacts is made up in the main by Asiatic countries. Exports to China account for only 2% of sector sales, but these are increasing at an exponential rate. In the last year growth levels have reached 96.5%. Items of Italian made furniture bearing the trademark of the manufacturing district of Livenza are also beginning to assert themselves in the USA, with 6.3% and Russia, with 5.6%. In East Asia exports appear to have peaked at 3.7% with growth percentages of around 2.8%. Penetrating the Asiatic markets has allowed the major players from the manufacturing district to diversify their manufacturing output. The need to respond to international demands has actually resulted in a growth in product lines and a reassurance of greater flexibility. This is an important restructuring for a sector that has redirected its entire mission towards global markets. They in turn have become privileged trade contacts on which to focus major sales strategies and promote oneself with the highest quality products.