Sales in German furniture industry down 3.7 pct in 2020

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BERLIN, Feb. 17 (Xinhua) — Sales of the German furniture industry declined by 3.7 percent year-on-year to 17.2 billion euros (20.7 billion U.S. dollars) in 2020, the Association of the German Furniture Industry (VDM) announced on Wednesday.

“Our industry has come through the coronavirus crisis comparatively robustly in 2020,” said Jan Kurth, managing director of VDM in a statement.

The domestic market “proved to be significantly more stable for the industry than exports,” VDM noted. While domestic sales by German furniture manufacturers fell by only 1.6 percent based on figures from the Federal Statistical Office (Destatis), international sales declined by 7.9 percent.

Among the different sectors, kitchen furniture industry “developed best,” recording sales growth of 4.5 percent, according to VDM. Producers of upholstered furniture also registered a 1.9-percent growth.

Meanwhile, sales of office and store furniture manufacturers in Germany declined by 9.1 percent, according to VDM.

The situation of the German furniture industry was getting more difficult since the beginning of 2021. “The second, even longer lockdown hits furniture manufacturers in the time of the year when sales are actually at their highest,” said Kurth.

Germany entered a lockdown in November when the second COVID-19 wave hit the country. Health regulations have since been tightened and the lockdown was extended until at least March 7. Non-essential shops, restaurants and leisure facilities are closed and strict contact restrictions apply.

Although consumer interest in furniture would remain high in the future, “there is still a lack of an opening perspective for the furniture trade” in Germany, added Kurth. Enditem

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