Furniture Today mentions that the American furniture market raked in an estimated $114.5 billion over 2019. Most Americans are already familiar with European-made furniture. One of the largest furniture companies in the US today is Ikea. However, European furniture isn’t just limited to the Swedish multinational brand.
A New Challenger
Architectural Digest posits that one in two sofas in Europe is made in Poland. That’s a shocking number to many Americans who have never seen or heard of Polish furniture manufacturers. However, that fact may soon change as Polish furniture companies are looking at the lucrative American market to expand into. Poland already exports some furniture to the US, but their most famous market is Germany. Depending on the quality and price, this could be a significant problem for local furniture manufacturers.
Local Manufacturers On the Ropes
American furniture manufacturers have been having to be more efficient in their processes and keep down costs ever since the influx of cheap European furniture in the 90s. These days, it’s hard to find a high-quality American made leather recliner at a reasonable price, and homeowners have opted for cheaper options instead. The latest issues with the pandemic have weakened the market further. While American quality may be higher than imports, the price is also much more than consumers are willing to pay.
Inroads into the American Market
A handful of Polish manufacturers have seen a route to make headway into getting their own slice of this lucrative American furniture market. Polish Chamber of Commerce of Furniture Manufacturers alongside the Polish National Foundation has established an initiative for manufacturers to sell their products directly to consumers. The epicenter of this change is the High Point Market in North Carolina. As the most extensive exposition of home furnishings in the world, it’s a perfect springboard to introduce Americans to Polish furniture in all its glory.
A Changing Industry
Polish furniture manufacturers have two options when they enter the US market. If they choose to compete directly with Ikea’s “fast furniture” trends, they’ll have to see how well they can quickly manufacture inexpensive furniture to take advantage of the market. If they intend to go after the traditional American market, they’ll have to put together better quality than the American manufacturers. It may be a while before Polish furniture actually makes a significant impact on the American furniture market. If they continue to make inroads into the market, that time might come sooner than local manufacturers expect it to.