World furniture production dominated by Top 200

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Of the world’s 200 top furniture manufacturers, 40% are headquartered in the EU, 22% in North America, 31% in Asia Pacific, 2% in South America, and 2% in central Eastern Europe, Russia and Turkey.

The “Top 200” account for around 23% of total world furniture production, indicating a relatively low degree of concentration in a sector which continues to be dominated by smaller enterprises.

These are key conclusions of a new report on the Top 200 published by CSIL, the Italian furniture industry research organisation.

The report also highlights that around 65% of the Top 200 are involved only in manufacturing and the remaining 35% operate both as manufacturers and retailers.

The share of companies that directly manage retailing activities increases with the size of the company.

The share is highest in the upholstered market segment and lowest in the office and kitchen segments which tend to be more dependent on other channels such as contract sales and direct sales to building companies.

The Top 200 have an average turnover per employee of USD178,000 per year, with the larger companies generally having higher levels of productivity. This is due partly to their greater investment in R&D and production machinery, and a greater propensity to operate via subcontracting and specialist production units.

The report notes that total world furniture production was worth about USD 400 billion in 2016, a slight gain on 2015, but marginally down on 2014. However, in recent years, world furniture trade has been growing faster than production with greater concentration in low-cost manufacturing hub locations.

The Top 200 are gradually increasing their share of global production and sales. In 2016, the turnover of the Top 200 was 17% higher than in 2011, rising year-on-year more rapidly than the market as whole.

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