The value of Polish furniture exports has been rising for years. In 2012 the country exported a record-high €6.6 billion worth of furniture, which is 61-fold increase since 1989, when Poland was beginning its economic transformation. Analysts predict that this year the record will be broken again with furniture exports reaching a value of €6.9 billion (zł.29 billion), according to a forecast by sector research firm B+R Studio.
With 2.7 million metric tons of furniture sold abroad, Poland is the second-largest furniture exporter in the world
Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons
Polish-made furniture is being sold predominantly to Germany (39 percent). Other major importers include France (8 percent), the UK (7 percent) and the Czech Republic (6 percent). But customers there don’t even realize that their chairs or tables are actually from Poland.
“Only 20 percent of Polish companies make furniture under their own brand, the rest produce products commissioned by international giants, or manufactured in their factories on Polish soil,” Tomasz Wiktorski from market research firm B+R Studio told Rzeczpospolita.
IKEA alone produces furniture worth zł.4 billion a year. Poland is popular among worldwide producers because of the abundance of materials and significantly lower labor cost. That’s why manufacturers can sell their products cheaper than competitors from other countries.
In terms of volume, Poland is the second-largest exporter in the world, selling 2.7 million metric tons of furniture abroad (China is the undisputed leader with nearly 15 million tons), but in terms of value, it also falls behind Germany and Italy.
The reason is simple: for every 100 kilograms of furniture exported, German and Italian companies receive €500-600, while Polish exporters only receive half of that, according to B+R Studio’s research.
There some 24,000 companies making and selling furniture in Poland, the bulk of them are micro-companies employing no more than 10 people. Only 100 of them have over 250 employees on the payroll.
From Warsaw Business Journal
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