28th CIFF Displays the Progress of China's Furniture Industry

Jan 02, 2012 Ι Exhibition Highlights Ι Furniture Ι By CENS
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With classic European design and traditional handicraft work, ‘Carpenter’ bedroom furniture has captivated the Chinese market.

The 28th China International Furniture Fair (Guangzhou), or CIFF 2011 Fall, was held concurrently with Homedecor + Hometextiles China 2011 on Sept. 7-10 at the China Import and Export Fair Complex in Guangzhou, where a multi-functional platform specifically for furniture and furnishings exhibitors has been created.

The show, which covered an area of 190,000 square meters, attracted a total of 882 furniture companies and 36,069 visitors from home and abroad. The exhibitors presented modern and classical home furniture, home décor and houseware, home textiles, and outdoor and leisure furniture that imbued the latest fashion trends with unique creativity, avant-garde designs, and novel concepts.

Despite the unstable international economic climate and the strict controls that China imposes on house purchases, the 28th CIFF gave evidence that the furniture industry has accelerated its transformation from a producer of simple furniture products to a supplier of a diverse range of modern furniture, classical furniture, and outdoor and leisure furniture.

Bed room furniture carrying the ‘Arture’ brand features modern patterns with a mixture of stylishness and simplicity.

To deal with the appreciation of the renminbi (RMB) currency, soaring wages, and rising raw materials costs, Chinese furniture makers, who traditionally focus mainly on OEM production, are giving increased attention to R & D and the building of own brands in order to boost their competitiveness in the global market.

Chinese furniture manufacturers have improved rapidly in recent years, and now consider themselves the equal of their international rivals. CIFF is a good platform for showing this achievement to the world. Shen Yaojun, vice president of the furniture-making Ayd Group, notes that CIFF impresses its visitors every year with the expanding scale of its exhibits and the innovative products on display.

Design-oriented Products
“We have seen more and more design-oriented and innovative furniture products on show at CIFF,” Shen explained, “particularly those coming from different provinces in China. It seems that Chinese manufacturers have realized that they have to upgrade their design capability and manufacturing technology, and to develop unique products that can compete with those of their international rivals.”

Among the Chinese exhibitors at the 28th CIFF, the Zhongshan Fourseas Furniture Manufacturing Co. is a Hong Kong enterprise that was founded in 1971 and established a production base in Zhongshan, Guangdong Province, in 1987. Today the company owns a furniture complex in Zhongshan that includes a huge R & D center with an area of 12,000 square meters, a warehousing covering 35,000 square meters, and several furniture factories.

The ‘Oakpalace’ living room set creates an atmosphere of warmth, harmony, and elegance.

The company turns out a variety of furniture products for living rooms, bed rooms, and study rooms, and has sold them at home as well as in more than 40 countries around the world. After about four decades in the industry, the company has established a good image in the market for its products, which carry three of its own brands: “Carpenter” “Arture,” and “Oakpalace.”

“Our three brands represent different types of furniture,” explained Kong Jing, director of the firm's planning department. “'Carpenter' is the brand for European classic furniture, featuring pure European design and traditional handcraft; ‘Arture,' with top quality and custom-made hardware, has a tinge of Italian contemporary style; and ‘Oakpalace' emphasizes an American pastoral taste.”

“Our strategic principle is to think ahead of our customers and develop products that are better than they expect. We believe the key to a company's success is to keep upgrading itself.”

After years of such upgrading, Zhongshan Fourseas has won ISO 9001 certification and its strong R&D team of more than 100 persons continues developing innovative new products.

This simple and compact dining set, developed by Red Apple, is popular among young consumers.

Established in 1981, the Red Apple Furniture Co. is another Hong Kong enterprise that has expanded into China, moving its production base to Shenzhen, Guangdong Province, in 1987. With a workforce of more than 3,000 in a plant that covers nearly 400,000 square meters, the company turns out massive volumes of contemporary furniture and mattresses, in addition to carrying out research, design, marketing, and after-sale services.

Over the past three decades, Red Apple has invested extensively in the introduction of new technologies and equipment from Germany, Italy, the United States, and Switzerland, giving it a highly accurate, efficient, and modern production line.

First “Green Choice” Winner

Red Apple’s modern living room set is suitable for young married couples.

“We provide a diverse range of well-designed, simple-styled modern furniture, and our sustained pursuit of quality and progress has brought us many honors,” proudly said Wang Jiafeng, the company's general manager. “In 2001 Red Apple was awarded the ‘Green Choice' label, one of the first furniture manufacturers in Guangdong Province to receive that distinction. In the same year we were awarded the ‘Q-Mark' by the Federation of Hong Kong Industries, along with Type-III Environment Certification by the Committee for Environmental Labeling Products. In 2003 Red Apple was cited by the Hong Kong Furniture Association as a top-10 brand.”

More importantly, the company keeps its customers' health in mind and uses boards whose emission of dissociated formaldehyde meets European E1 Standards.

This stylish bedroom set is a new offering from Red Apple.

While developing the market in China, Red Apple also serves international markets and now sells its products to more than 60 countries and regions, including Japan, South Korea, Singapore, India, Malaysia, the United States, Canada, Britain, Poland, Spain, South Africa, Australia, and the Middle East.

At the 28th CIFF the company displayed a series of newly developed wooden furniture and children's furniture with simple designs and warm, bright colors. “Our health-oriented and eco-friendly wooden furniture products have gained popularity in the market,” Wang stated, “and their simple designs cater to the taste of consumers, particularly youngsters. CIFF is a great platform for us to expose our products to global buyers.”

The Beijing ARIS Furniture Group, founded in 1995, is now one of the leading furniture manufacturers in China, focusing on the production of fabric sofas, leather sofas, beds, mattresses, coffee tables, and leisure chairs.

Beijing ARIS offers a wide choice of sofas in different patterns, colors, sizes, and materials.

The group specializes in making soft furniture, with operations that encompass research and development, production, sales, and service. “ARIS, which was created by our Italian designer, Paul Santini, is now a famous furniture brand in China,” said Fan Shanshan, chairperson of the group. “With original Italian design and world-class quality, our products are welcome both in China and in the international market.”

For years Beijing ARIS has been working hard to upgrade itself, and the effort paid off with the earning of ISO 9001 and ISO 14001 certification. ARIS was named a “China Famous Brand” in 2002 and a “Top 10 Best-selling Brand of Chinese Furniture” in 2005, among many other honors.

In addition to marketing its furniture in 500 outlets in 28 Chinese provinces, the group exports its products to more than 50 countries in Asia, North America, Europe, Africa, and Oceania. “Our products displayed at the 28th CIFF are mainly leather sofas and beds, which attract strong attention among visitors and buyers,” Fan reported. “We will keep generating top quality soft furniture for our customers both at home and abroad, and we will keep promoting the ‘ARIS' brand in the domestic market and the world.”

Luxury beds made by Beijing ARIS are sold mainly to tourist hotels.

Wang Ke, chairman of Guangdong Furniture Association, notes that the 28th CIFF was a big event in China's furniture and furnishings industry. “It's good to find that more and more Chinese furniture exhibitors are displaying original-design and innovative products at the show,” he commented. “And the increasing use of new materials and high-end technologies gives momentum to the development of the industry.”
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