Why this is important to Wisconsin businesses: Metal office furniture manufacturing hit a record level in the first half of 2021.
As consumers in Russia stayed home during the pandemic, furniture companies beefed up manufacturing of products for homes and offices.
In the first half of 2021, the value of furniture produced in Russia totaled ₽130 billion ($1.3 billion USD), 48% more than in the same period of 2020, according to Rosstat, Russia’s federal-state statistics service. The biggest increase was in metal office furniture, where manufacturing jumped 70% over the previous year, totaling a record ₽17.3 billion ($170 million USD). Mattress production during the six-month period was up 45%, and wooden furniture for living rooms, dining rooms and bedrooms rose 44%. Kitchen furniture production increased 40%.
One reason the value of the goods produced rose substantially was because of a hike in the cost of raw materials.
Not all of the new furniture was destined for homes in Russia. About 13% of the furniture manufactured in January-June 2021 was exported—nearly twice as much as during the same periods of 2020 and 2019.
More than 14,000 furniture companies operate in Russia today, 5,000 of which are manufacturers. About 2,500 companies make wooden furniture. And only 15 manufacturers operate at production volumes exceeding ₽1 billion per year ($9.8 million USD). Top furniture manufacturers in Russia include: Ascona, Mebel Stil, DOK-15, Maria and Orma Group.
In large cities, the growth of the furniture industry is facilitated by large retailers such as Hoff, IKEA, Leroy Merlin, JYSK, OBI Group, Maksidom and Petrovich. Smaller cities have fewer furniture stores, but they could stock a variety of components in warehouses and assemble custom-built furniture pieces.
A significant trend that resulted from the COVID-19 pandemic was a jump in online sales. That trend is expected to continue.
Furniture prices are expected to rise in the near future by as much as 7% for domestic products and 20% for imported goods. That’s because many furniture manufacturers are still working with older supplies of materials and components.
Wisconsin furniture companies interested in exporting to Russia should take note of the trends.
The largest events in Russia for the furniture industry are: