Gyeonggi’s Furniture Industry Enhances Your Lifestyle

Furniture can reflect your identity and lifestyle. Now it's getting more and more attention since the outbreak. How's the furniture industry in Korea?

Korea's Furniture Industry

The growing number of people working from home has increased demand for home office furniture. The 2008–2009 financial crisis and the 2011–2012 European economic crisis also increased the need for home offices, as well as for computers, desks, office chairs, and cabinets.

Today’s consumers prefer to have a multi-purpose home office. In particular, the number of single-person and two-person households has increased, resulting in demand for small and portable households. In addition, more and more consumers are willing to purchase high-end products suitable for living and working conditions as economic growth continues.
Domestic demand in the Korean furniture industry has grown at an average annual rate of 6.7 percent over the past five years
Concurrently, many companies are developing eco-friendly furniture in order to deal with environmental issues such as deforestation. Although eco-friendly furniture is expensive, an increasing number of companies are expected to participate in this market segment.

Structural Changes in the Korean Furniture Industry

In 2016, domestic consumption in the Korean furniture industry amounted to approximately KRW 7.8 trillion. Domestic demand has grown at an average annual rate of 6.7 percent over the past five years. Employment in the furniture industry rebounded from a low point in 2010 and has since shown a high growth rate. For example, nationwide employment in furniture manufacturing increased sharply from 50,000 in 2010 to 63,000 in 2016.

Exports accounted for an increase in furniture production between 2006 and 2013, but the proportion of exports has declined since then. Despite the growing market share of imported goods, locally produced products account for 70% of domestic furniture demand.

Status of the Furniture Industry

Although Korea ranks seventh in terms of global furniture production, it has low export competitiveness and its growth is based on domestic demand. Along with the increase in the market share of large furniture companies, the trend of service corporatization has strengthened. Large companies such as Hanssem and Livart started in the furniture manufacturing industry, but are now essentially distribution-oriented companies.

Furniture manufacturing is difficult to undertake using mass production processes such as automation and mechanization, so there is a high possibility for job creation due to increased demand. Currently, about 77,396 workers are employed in more than 13,000 companies in the furniture manufacturing industry. Gyeonggi Province employs 59.2% of the nation's furniture industry personnel, and accounts for 46.2% of the nation's furniture manufacturing businesses.

Between 2011 and 2016, the number of furniture manufacturing workers in the country increased at an average annual rate of 4.4%, while the average annual growth rate in Gyeonggi Province was 5.8%. In 2016, sales by furniture wholesale businesses in Gyeonggi Province (household furniture wholesalers) amounted to KRW 1.26 trillion, an six-fold increase over sales in 2006.

Supporting the Furniture Industry in Gyeonggi

Building on a steady increase in financial support for furniture companies, Gyeonggi allocated approximately KRW 9.2 billion to furniture industry development in 2017. This support focused on exhibitions, promising and small furniture companies, and the establishment of a joint exhibition and distribution center in Pocheon City.
Furniture manufacturing is difficult to undertake using mass production processes such as automation and mechanization
In addition, Gyeonggi seeks to develop a furniture design space so as to create jobs, strengthen the competitiveness of the provincial furniture industry, and enable the use of high-tech equipment with advanced safety features. Of the KRW 300 million earmarked to this end, KRW 250 million has been allotted to administrative processes, while the remaining KRW 50 million went to equipment, exhibitions, education, consulting, and product development.

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Gyeonggido-Korea (경기도): Gyeonggi’s Furniture Industry Enhances Your Lifestyle
Gyeonggi’s Furniture Industry Enhances Your Lifestyle
Furniture can reflect your identity and lifestyle. Now it's getting more and more attention since the outbreak. How's the furniture industry in Korea?
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