A stable market with an eye on quality

Germany continues to play a leading role in the furniture sector, thanks to higher per capita spending and an industry that continues its moderate growth

The furniture market in Germany remains stable. According to data published by VDM, the German national association in this sector, in 2018 production sales increased by 0.7%, reaching an overall value of 18 billion euros. Slight growth was reported for exports, with an increase of +0.9%, and on the domestic market (+0.7%). Retail revenues, however, dropped by 2.1%, with a total of 32.9 billion euros, of which 10% online.

It was a positive year for kitchen, office and retail furnishings, reporting overall growth of 6%, while living room furnishings slumped (-3.5%). The Germans like to buy furniture, especially if it is of high quality. Per capita spending in this area is the highest in the world, at a level of 413 euros, corresponding to a quota of overall expenditure of about 6.8%. Of the furnishings purchased, 35% are made in Germany, which produces 5% of the world’s furniture, in fourth place after China, the United States and Italy.

Exports are gradually taking on a more central role in German furniture sales, reaching a record share of 32.4% of overall sales. The value of exports has thus doubled over the last 20 years, arriving at 10.9 billion. Exports to France, the main foreign market for German furniture, made a leap forward (+6.7%), for a share of 14%.

As for imports, Germany buys furniture above all from Poland (25%). China is the second supplier (15%), ahead of Czech Republic (14%). Italy lags behind, in fourth place, with a share of 6%. Of the 784 million euros of furnishings arriving from Italy, 30% are in the area of seating.