Vietnamese furniture businesses have enormous opportunities to enhance their market share in France as interest in wooden furniture for house renovation increases.
France plays an integral role in the furniture industry in Europe and across the world, according to the Italian Center for Industrial Studies.
The country is the second largest importer of interior furniture in Europe and the third largest in the world, with imported furniture accounting for 60% of the total furniture consumed.
Within the European Union, France is one of Vietnam’s top trade partners.
However, despite being the sixth largest furniture supplier for the French market, Vietnam accounts for only 4.5% of the total import values. This is a low proportion, if taking the supply needs of the country into consideration.
In the past year, French people have been staying more at home due to the Covid-19 pandemic and spending time to renovate their houses, leading to greater interests in interior furniture. This shows that Vietnamese furniture businesses have enormous opportunities to enhance their market share in France, where Vietnam has price advantage thanks to the EU – Vietnam Free Trade Agreement.
Citing data from the International Trade Center, the Ministry of Industry and Trade’s Import and Export Department highlighted that France imported wooden furniture worth US$ 386.3 million in June 2021, up 31.2% compared to the same period one year earlier.
In the first six months of 2021, the total furniture import values in France reached US$ 2.4 billion, an increase of 59.9% compared to the same period in 2020. According to the Import and Export Department, import of furniture increased sharply in the French market, particularly from Italy, China and Germany, from January to June 2021. The import value from these markets accounted for 49.8% of the total import values.
In the first six months of 2021, living room and dining room furniture (code HS 940360) and wooden-framed chairs (codes HS 940161 + 940169) were the two main types of wooden furniture imported to France. Specifically, import of living room and dining room furniture increased 65.2% compared to the same period in 2020 to reach US$ 930.6 million. China continued to be the largest supplier of living room and dining room furniture to France in the first half of 2021, accounting for 16.7% of the market, following respectively by Italy (15.6%) and Poland (10.1%).
The French market’s total wooden-framed chair import values in the first half of 2021 reached US$ 730 million, up 63.9% compared to the same period in 2020 and accounting for 30.8% of the total furniture import. While Vietnam is the fifth largest wooden-framed chair supplier to France, the import value of these products from Vietnam so far accounted for only 6.7% of France’s total import values, leaving much room for Vietnam’s businesses to infiltrate this market.
Trade specialists believed that Vietnam’s furniture businesses had been able to adapt to the new normal, gradually stabilizing production and strengthening online trade to find foreign partners and expand the market. As such, despite production activities being heavily affected by the Covid-19 pandemic, Vietnam’s lumber industry remains proactive and increasingly earns the trust of foreign customers seeking supply of wooden products from Vietnam.
Trade specialists recommended Vietnamese businesses to continue improving and applying technologies in production, while keeping themselves constantly updated on the new trends and customer needs. Local businesses should also create channels to stabilize transportation costs to boost export of wooden products from Vietnam to the France market with more diverse models and competitive prices.