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WhatWood Furniture Furniture sector in EU hard hit by pandemic

Furniture sector in EU hard hit by pandemic

26 May 2020 ` 18:12  

It is far too early to assess the full impact of COVID-19 on EU furniture imports this year, but early signs are that the downturn will be at least as great as during the financial crises of 2008-2009.

With its trade fairs cancelled, showrooms shuttered and deliveries of larger items largely curtailed due to social distancing, the furniture industry in Europe has been particularly badly hit by current restrictions on trade and travel. Brands that were already in a perilous position, such as Lombok and Laura Ashley in the UK, have started to collapse.

According to a study quoted by Statista on the projected impact of COVID-19 on retail sales in Europe, between March 9, 2020 and April 21, 2020, retailers are expected to face a loss of GBP3.26 billion (US$4 billion) due to disruptions caused by the current outbreak. Furniture is one sector expected to be hit hardest as consumers forego discretionary purchases in favour of stocking up on food and household supplies.

The larger better resourced furniture retailers, particularly those with a large and highly evolved online presence, have been better placed to respond to the crises.

Read more in Russian Timber Journal 04-2020.

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