Furniture industry in Europe - Statistics and Facts

The furniture industry is a dynamic, labour-intensive sector with opportunities for highly skilled workers. It combines new technologies with innovation, heritage, design and style. The industry is mostly dominated by small and medium-sized enterprises. Within the sector, IKEA, Steinhoff and JYSK are well-known and highly valued brands.

The industry consists of three major components: manufactures, retailers and the consumer. Looking at the first component, manufacturers dealt with significant losses when the economic crisis of 2008 hit the industry. The number of manufacturing enterprises in the European Union decreased from approximately 126,000 in 2011 to 119,000 enterprises in 2014. However, as of 2015 the number of enterprises increased again to roughly 120,000, indicating a positive development for those involved in the industry. The recovery from the crisis is confirmed by the production value of the industry in the European Union as well. If in 2011 the production value was 90 billion euros, in 2015 it increased to 97 billion euros.

The economic recovery of the manufacturing industry reflected in consumer behavior. When observing the annual expenditure on furniture and furnishings in the UK, in 2012, consumers spent approximately 12 billion euros on furniture and furnishings. In 2016, spending amounted to 17 billion euros. Most of the consumer expenditure on furniture in Europe took place in Malta with a three percent share of their total household spending in 2014, whereas Austria and Germany had 2.8 and 2.6 percent respectively.

IKEA, a major furniture retailer specializing in ready-to-assemble furniture, kitchen appliances and home accessories, performed remarkably well before, during and after the economic crisis. Back in 2001, the annual revenue of IKEA counted at approximately ten billion euros. In 2016, their revenue amounted to roughly 35 billion euros and it grew year-on-year. Furthermore, not only is IKEA generating a tremendous amount of revenue, it is also the fifth most valuable retailer in the world, valued at nearly 18.1 billion U.S. dollars.

The industry dealt with losses and difficulties during the crisis, but recovered well during the last few years. Hand-made, eco-friendly products are one of the leading trends nowadays in the industry, pushing to expand boundaries and introduce innovations.

Interesting statistics

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Furniture industry in the EU

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