Supported by (UKTI) the BFM led a research mission to the Shenzhen International Furniture Exhibition (SIFE) last March to explore its potential as an exhibition platform for four BFM member companies – Charles Barr Furniture, Gascoigne Designs, Parker Knoll and Saxon Furniture – and to help them understand the prospects of the Chinese market for UK manufacturers.
Bill Packman, creative and marketing director of the Shenzhen Furniture Association (SZFA) – China’s largest regional furniture association and the leading organiser of the SIFE exhibition – outlined the vast potential for expansion of China’s furniture market due to increasing population, standard of living and demand for housing, especially for second homes, driven by China’s leading policy of urbanisation to stimulate domestic demand.
Bill organised a series of meetings with major Chinese retailers and logistics providers, helping those on the research mission understand Chinese product preferences, styles and materials, and the importance of British-made items and brands.
As a result of the mission, the BFM members have developed a better understanding of the scale of the event, and the potential of the market and the pitfalls involved in tackling it.
BFM members can find the full report and its findings in the members area of the BFM website.