On November 23 – 27, 2015 in Moscow was held the exhibition devoted to the furniture. The history of the exhibition is carried out since 1974, and it has a reputation in the international market. There are new furniture trends, launching of new products and, what is the most important for us, demonstration of the achievements of domestic furniture industry.
The exhibition is large. In total here you can see the products of more 800 companies, connected to furniture market (manufacturers of furniture, components, elements and related products). To get around the entire area for 1 day is almost impossible, and visitors usually make the destination route in advance.
We decided to focus on kitchen furniture and to find out what is happening in the market at present, difficult time. And, more specifically, what is the situation on the market of kitchen furniture of the Russian manufacture. For explanations we addressed to the manufacturers whose products caught our attention.
The overall impression on the product. Russian manufacturer produces lovely kitchen furniture for every taste and budget. New technologies, and styles, and… the desire to improve are evident.
The main conclusion of the market. The market declines significantly, and in proportion to the fall of the economy. The figures vary from 20 to 40%. This particularly affected the so-called economy segment (cheapest, most sensitive to the price of the furniture). In the middle and higher middle segments drop is felt through the mood of consumers and the reduction in the number of clients and requests. The prospects of kitchen furniture Russian production of the dough are linked with the country’s economy, and therefore conditional. If the country as a whole will evolve, and people will have money, the market outlook is optimistic.
Furniture in its economic essence is a durable good. Buyers of furniture have the same philosophy as that of the buyers of new cars or apartments. Therefore, the consumer behavior of furniture buyers is correlated with behavior in the markets of mortgages, the sale of new cars and etc.
Retail prices for the Russian furniture
How much is furniture? That’s the question we asked each of our interlocutors, and each of them was undecided. Traditionally, the market is divided into the mass market and the middle and high price segments with transitional upper and lower stages. However, in the manufacture of furniture a lot of components: material, design, complexity of execution, brand and so forth, making the boundaries blurred. For example, in the product range of the Russian Fort manufacturer we find both cheap plastic tables, and more expensive solid wood units. If the economy table costs 1’300 rubles, the tables made from natural materials will cost roughly 10’000-100’000 RUR.
For natural materials, high quality parts, and generally for good performance you have to pay. In the middle segment a good chair, alike those of Russian palaces of the XIX century, will cost at least 6’000 RUR at Orimex.
Complex solution of Atlaslux in the European style will cost equal to the price of a good car as Hyundai (about 1’000’000 RUR).
Average and average + segment is also represented by eco-friendly furnishings. Such products are included to the range of Orimex, and the AtlasLux, however, there is a manufacturer in Dubna near Moscow, which produces 100% of assortment in eco style – factory «Eko-Mebel».
Eco-friendly table will cost (roughly) 3’000 – 30’000 RUR, table top – 90’000 RUR, a clean kitchen without equipment – 500’000 RUR. This furniture has a serial scale, and is available exclusively individually.
The prices of the Russian furniture tend to rise due to the use in the manufacture of foreign parts.
What is the origin of the Russian furniture?
Russian designs of furniture are used in all factories. Medyn factory, moreover, involves Academy Stieglitz to the furniture development, and holds contests among young specialists of Russia. Most manufacturers of basic raw material use domestic wood for the production. Particleboard, MDF and other materials are procured either at home or in Europe (factory Maria, for example, in Italy).
With accessories and varnishes in the middle segment, the situation is clear – they are European. At the moment the Russian production could not ensure the required product quality. Fabrics are also imported.
Equipment in our factories is European origin (Italy / Germany), rarely it is domestic.
For the buyer it is important the presence of the European element in the production of Russian furniture. None of our interlocutors saw in the market a Patriotic trend in the selection of furniture. The buyer prefers European; not production – so the technology, not the technology – the equipment, not the equipment – at least the name. The majority of Russian factories uses Latinized name, or operates under the brand name from overseas. Great is the love of the Russian buyer to the products from abroad, and it is not shaken yet, even when the good quality of the Russian products is evident.
As we have been explained by Ivan Shevchenko (factory Maria), it is important to the buyer to have a support of choice in the form of the brand or other significant factor.
What are the tastes of the Russian buyer of furniture?
Mainly the regional features of choice are allocated (the choice is more vivid and solid in the South, more quiet and traditional in the North of Russia), however, according to Eugene Grishanov (Orimex), these features are conditional. Currently, for example, in the North of Russia there are many southern communities – a large part of consumption – and they bring in a selection of North their southern flavor.
For the buyer the ratio price-quality is important as well as individual preferences. Therefore, the manufacturer not only wants to create a wide line range of products, but also offer options (additional equipment and configurations) to base model. So, Maria factory offers optionally to build boxes of the slide mechanism called “Magic corner” in one of the corner.
Economy-buyer is primarily interested in price-quality – the maximum possible with the resources available. Natural furniture he buys rare because it is expensive (similar units of natural and unnatural products vary about 3 times).
Buyer of the middle segment is, of course, also limited with the ability to pay, but it is wider. Here is all about the personal preferences and fashionable effects. Now, admittedly, in fashion we find grey color. And furniture manufacturers from the array try to your assortment of fashion position. As the dominant direction is marked classic. Materials – solid wood.
Health care, according to Elena Titova (Eco-Furniture) directs the selection of 15-20% of potential furniture buyers.
But this care is hampered by the difficulty in dealing with natural wood and stone. Natural whole barrel is never perfectly smooth picture, you need to be prepared to work with less attuned to the consumer of the materials, from which we have weaned. Sustainability implies a 100% natural material and eco-friendly style. To describe the social portrait of its buyer can be difficult for the Eco-mebel. It is rather union of those who care about their health, in particular. For example, part of clientele are pensioners who purchase furniture in installments. The main audience of this advertisement is recommendation.
Overall, the main buyer of furniture for the kitchen, of course, a woman. It reigns in the kitchen.
The dialogue between the furniture manufacturer and the buyer
Development of assortment policy goes in two directions.On the one hand, the manufacturer strives to meet the needs of customers – and goes to meet consumer preferences. On the other, it offers design and technology solutions.
The tastes of the buyer throughout Russia become known to the manufacturer through its own sales statistics, as well as through dealer network. Considering the specificity of furniture as a commodity and the high cost of its delivery to the manufacturer, it is important to enlist the support of regional dealers.
New products of economy segment run often, about once a month. While middle and upper-middle segments are updated to the exhibitions (1-2 times a year) or when it is ready, sought after developments.
Russian manufacturer of furniture trends of the European furniture products in General and fashion in particular. According to Eugene A. Grishanov (Orimex), the General trends of European furniture are reflected in our market 5 years later in Europe where now dominates the art Nouveau style.
During the crisis has changed the buying behaviour of customers have become more economical.
What is the reaction on the economy and what are the expectations?
The situation with a sharp and deep fall of the Russian economy is reflected in the attitude of manufacturers. They are currently focused on the development of their dealer networks and opportunities. In addition to Russian buyers, customers of Russian furniture are expected in Kazakhstan and Belarus. Unfortunately, currently, both countries experienced currency devaluation and crisis. In the view of the layman, the high-quality Russian furniture is able to earn the recognition from customers, for example, in Europe. In this respect the most optimistic is head of Medyn Dmitry Koustov. Eugene A. Grishanov (Orimex) is also working on the development of direction. Less optimistic in this respect is Alexey Frolov (AtlasLux), whose efforts are mainly focused on the Russian market.
Everyone expects to overcome the crisis, however, while no one sees its specific terms.
Meanwhile, on the one hand, the Russian government reduces the import duties for furniture (by 2-5%). And wants to ban government purchases of imported furniture, creating preferences about 15% for Russian producers.