As part of the fast moving consumer goods (FMCG) sector, the furniture market tends to rise and fall based on world economic trends. During a recession, the industry tends to be negatively impacted as consumers cut back on non-essential spending, putting off home redecoration and renovation projects due to lower disposable incomes. This happened most recently during the 2020 coronavirus pandemic, reflected in IKEA's sales figures. The import and export of furniture is also impacted by such events, however trade values have been growing steadily in recent years. China is the dominant exporter of furniture and the United States leads for imports.
There are a number of sub-markets within this sector. Office furniture, a market encompassing the furnishing and interior of office spaces, is one such example. Desks, chairs, cabinets, and lamps can help to create an optimal working environment, where workers feel comfortable and can be at their most productive. Ready-to-assemble (RTA) furniture is another distinct market. Such furniture comes flat-packed and are assembled on site. IKEA is an example of a RTA furniture retailer.
As of 2020, IKEA was the third most valuable retailer in the world, making it the most valuable furniture retail brand, valued at almost 50 billion U.S. dollars. The business operates 445 stores around the world. IKEA caters for all the key categories of the home or residential furniture market such as living room, dining room, bedroom, kitchen, and outdoor furniture.