Furniture makers target up to 15% sales growth By

Louella Desiderio - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines — Furniture makers in the country are looking at a 10 to 15 percent growth in sales next year by entering new export markets and tapping opportunities to serve demand in the local market.

Myrna Bituin, trustee for the furniture sector of the Philippine Exporters Confederation Inc. said the furniture industry is planning to implement a massive marketing strategy next year to achieve the sales growth target. 

Part of the strategy is to penetrate new export markets. 

“Our target is to go to 10 markets for three years. That’s where we feel the buyers can really feel our presence because that is important,” Bituin said. 

She said the new export markets include Doha in Qatar, Lithuania, Russia, as well as Malaysia. 

The industry would also continue to cater to demand in existing markets such as the US which remains its biggest market, as well as Japan. 

“I think our trade consuls, we will be working in partnership with them. We have to invest really like the foreign trips. Again, our trade consuls will be of great help to us,” Bituin said. 

“One of the things the industry can do is partnership… We are not opponents. The industry should harmonize with one another when it comes to projects,” she added.

In addition to overseas markets, furniture makers are also going to actively cater to local demand particularly from hotels.

“All big hotels, they are now refurbishing, not only the furniture but the indoors (items) and that makes them really busy,” Bituin said. 

Latest data from the Philippine Statistics Authority showed the country’s exports of woodcraft and furniture reached $526.48 million as of end-October, down 7.8 percent from $571.01 million a year ago.

Total exports of woodcraft and furniture reached $662.46 million in 2018, 57 percent lower than the $1.54 billion in 2017.


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