Solid showing in Turkish furniture exports despite virus
According to industry experts, Turkey’s bustling furniture sector was able to maintain its strong export performance in 2020 despite the coronavirus.
Nuri Gürcan, head of the Furniture Industry Businessmen’s Association, said Turkey’s exports in 2020 were unchanged from the previous year at $ 3.5 billion in an effort to weather the challenges of the pandemic.
Last year’s numbers made Turkey the eighth largest furniture exporter in the world, closely behind the US with $ 4.7 billion and Canada with $ 3.7 billion.
“If we hit our target for 2021, which is between $ 4 billion and $ 4.5 billion, we will move up to seventh place,” he said.
Nimble market driver
Turkey is also the 13th largest furniture maker in the world, and Gürcan said it managed to hit those impressive numbers despite the virus, as sales channels remain active.
Iraq, Germany, Saudi Arabia, the USA, Israel, France, Libya, Great Britain, Romania and the Netherlands are the most important export markets for Turkish furniture in 2020.
“2020, in particular, was a year of banner growth for our exports to the US,” he added.
China stepped into the background because it was zero point for the virus, according to Gürcan, stressing that freight costs spiraling out of control were moving European countries closer to the home of Turkey.
Koray Çalışkan, chairman of Modoko, Turkey’s oldest furniture showroom, also praised the country’s strong export performance over the past year, saying Turkish furniture is one of the sectors that has responded fastest to the changing pandemic market.
Industry players have launched online shopping websites to meet demand during the lockdown, he said.
“We have prepared the infrastructure for a virtual trade fair that will initially last 365 days in an industry,” he said.
Showroom hub in the USA
Çalışkan emphasized that Turkish exports have increased 18 times over the past two decades.
“We should now focus on how to increase our exports per kilogram,” he said, emphasizing that the sector is looking for ways to get more sales in the US
Modoko plans to open a furniture showroom in the USA in 2021, similar to the one that already exists in Dubai.
“We are in the final stages of opening a showroom in the US,” said Çalışkan.
“With this center in the US, we can more easily export to Latin American countries.”
In addition to increasing exports, the sector wants to create awareness of Turkish furniture and increase brand value abroad, he said.
“We are an industry where exports are increasing every year, but in 2020 it was unchanged from the previous year due to the pandemic,” Çalışkan said.