French furniture trade benefits from catch-up effects

27.07.2020 − 

Following collapses in March (-51.6%) and April (-84.9%), turnover in the French furniture trade in May fell just 0.7% short of the preceding year’s figure. According to French market research institute Ipea this development reflects the gradual reopening of traditional retail stores since 11 May. Some furniture traders have also benefited from the decision of other market players to open at a later date, contributing to growth in the double-digit percentage range for the month. Ikea, for example, did not reopen its stores in France until 25 May. Ipea attributes the positive development in demand (observed against the backdrop of a shortened sales period of three weeks maximum compared with the preceding year) to catch-up effects in connection with furnishing projects planned since before the corona crisis began, as well as deficits noticed in the home during lockdown.

The strongest rates of increase in May were recorded for garden furniture. However, demand for kitchen furniture also increased significantly. According to Ipea, growth in specialised kitchen trade was stronger than companies originally expected. Due to comparatively high expenditure associated with the purchase of a new kitchen, the industry had estimated that consumers would be initially reluctant to make major new purchases in light of existing uncertainty regarding economic development. The high demand already recorded by various online furniture retailers during the lockdown also continued, and was reflected by significant growth in May.

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