In his editorial, Marek Hryniewicki, editor of the website and the Polish monthly magazine Biznes.meble.pl, says that during the Spring 2020 lockdown, furnishing companies in Poland saw production drop by 15% in March, 50% in April and 20% in May. From there on in there’s been a sustained acceleration, with record 14% growth in October 202, equal to 4.75 billion zloty (1.02 billion euros), while the sector as a whole closed the year at the same levels as 2019. Given the circumstances, as the editor says, it’s “an excellent result.” The momentum has kept up during 2021, with the value of production sold during the first six-month period amounting to 26.2 billion zloty (5.7 billion euros) – up 28% on the same period in 2020, and orders for the second six-month period are encouraging.
How has the furnishing industry changed in Poland since the coronavirus? Artur Wasaznik, Marketing Director at Meble Merzenie, says that the pandemic triggered incredible demand for furnishings, while there was a shortage of raw materials, which have gone up in price, along with the finished products. Many consumers have started investing in their homes and in furniture, rather than other sectors. What about the outlook for the near future? The end of the pandemic and a sharp collapse in furnishing demand? Or its protraction, with knock-on sustained demand? Wasaznik inclines toward the latter, with one single certainty: “It will be different. Which does not mean bad – just quite shaky.”
Mateusz Strzelczyk of B+R Studio has analysed the figures for the sector in Poland, based on Statistics Poland data. The first quarter of 2021 was the best ever in the sector’s history, with sales worth 128 billion zloty (2.8 billion euros), up 11% on the previous year. March 2021 was the second-best month after October 2020’s record performance, notching up sales worth 4.66 billion zloty (1 billion euros). The figures were underpinned by rising inflation and the increase in the price of raw materials (and consequently the furniture itself), making for lower expectations for the second quarter of 2021. During the first quarter, 162 thousand people were employed by the sector (1% fewer than in 2020) earning an average salary of 4,413 zloty (956 euros: +12% on 2020).
Original Text: Marek Hryniewicki, Artur Wasaznik, Mateusz Strzelczyk
Photos: getty images
Published by: Wydawnictwo meble.pl
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