A region that is always prepared and extremely dynamic
According to the latest data presented by the FederlegnoArredo's research centre at the Salone del Mobile in Milan, exports from the furniture industry were confirmed as being the top driving force behind the growth of Italian furniture companies in 2016. Indeed, sales made abroad between January and December of last year exceeded Euro 8.8 billion (+1.2% on 2015) with significant signs of growth, above all in France (+4.9%), the United States (+8.8%), Spain (+8.5%), and China (+21.9%).
The companies of the wood and furniture segment based in Treviso and Pordenone have returned to pre-crisis volumes, which are particularly reflected in export data (Euro 1,628 million for Treviso and Euro 679 million for Pordenone, together counting for 25.1% of the national total for the segment). The forecasts of UBI Banca, which recently carried out a very detailed analysis on the sector, indicate that this year the turnover of the furniture companies of Treviso and Pordenone should increase on average by 4.5% compared to 2016 and a further leap of 3.7% is expected in 2018, with the gross operating margin establishing itself at around 8% of turnover.
Therefore, the Livenza furniture district, which stretches throughout the region between Pordenone and Treviso, is confirmed as one of the most significant production areas at national and European level, where business ideas are never lacking. The recognised lever for the success of these companies is production flexibility for 72.5% of the sample assessed in the study performed by UBI Banca, followed by quality and innovation (55%). Among the most recent signs that can be seen in reference to these approaches of the district's companies, certainly the most evident is the buzz of initiatives which have been activated these past few years around the need to strongly innovate furniture design and manufacturing. Many of these were created in the wake of relations, content, and experiences which have always found their natural home at SICAM.
There are two particular areas on which local furniture companies with a strong vocation to trading on international markets have focused their attention: contract and design. Seven of the district's companies, all specialised in different production (including upholstery, wood, drapery, marble and metal working) united in recent months to create the company network "Tailor Made Contract", aimed at enterprises and designers linked to the world of contract furniture. The declared objective of the initiative is to be able to offer a highly-customised and top-quality service to contractors based on the ability to unite the demand of large production lots to the need to ensure the attention to detail that is typical of artisan know-how. The network made its debut at the Porta Nuova Mall at the recent "Fuori Salone" event of the Salone del Mobile.
Pordenone, on the other hand, hosted the sixth edition of "Pordenone Design Week" last March. This initiative was created to develop and strengthen relations between international design excellence, the city's university campus, and the region with its more advanced productions. Also, to build and maintain a fabric of personality, institutions, and top international education centres around the companies capable of ensuring a constantly-updated and state-of-the-art background servicing the region's furniture and furnishing enterprises.