Turkish Furniture Exports - An Untapped Potential

In Istanbul, Turkey, one of the biggest furniture fairs of Europe was recently held from 24th until 29th of January. Despite the transportation chaos that the snowstorm brought to the city where two continents meet, the interest in Turkish furniture was at its peak, so much so that the fair got even prolonged one extra day! What’s the reason behind all this interest? Turkish Furniture Is Getting Attention.

The fair welcomed 121,519 visitors from 80 different countries and laid the foundations for business which sums up to a total of 3 billion dollars. Not bad at all! It’s also the first furniture fair to be held in two simultaneous places at once. The main fair, TÜYAP was for the flagship furniture brands meanwhile the other one, MOSFED was for smaller brands. So there was a place for every segment in the fair, and that is the case with the Turkish furniture industry as well. 

Istanbul Furniture Fair with visitors walking around

Turkish Furniture Compared to Other Countries?

Turkey ranks at the 21st place in the world with 5.541 billion dollars of revenue in the furniture market, ranking right behind Switzerland with 5.653 billion dollars. It is by no means the market leader or the country that comes to mind when furniture is the subject. But let’s discover together if that means the Turkish furniture market is not trusted, doesn’t meet the standards of the markets, or that it’s not discovered yet.

Turkish Furniture – The Untapped Potential

Adaptation curve - bell ring distribution image

5 Types of adaptors are portrayed through the bell ring distribution In every technology, market, product, and even in stocks the same pattern plays out with the adoption process, shown in the bell ring distribution curve above. By the time the late majority or laggards come into the market, the returns are not quite there anymore, nowhere near what the early adopters or early majority profited from. We would argue the Turkish furniture market is right now in the early adopters/majority stage of its adoption within the world’s furniture market and that it’s going to play a much bigger role in the next decade.

Why Turkish Furniture Is The Next Big Thing?

Worker working in a furniture factory

Turkey’s currency Turkish Lira is going through a lot of volatility and devaluation in the past years. The USD/TRY was around 6₺ at the start of 2020 and by December 2021 it got up to 18₺ and currently, it’s cruising around the 13-14₺ range.

This volatility is a relevantly recent topic ( USD/TRY was 1.15₺ in 2008) that deeply affected many businesses in Turkey, it shook out the over-leveraged, uncompetitive, and simply unfortunate brands in the market and left the stronger ones standing behind. This also left the manufacturers who were relying on exporting standing as they didn’t get as affected as the ones relying upon the furniture market in Turkey. Well, where do these manufacturers export to?

Turkish Furniture’s Main Export Destinations

Turkey set itself an ambitious 4 billion dollar export goal by the end of 2021, not only the sector achieve this goal but it overcame it and got 4.28 billion dollars worth of furniture export with an increase of 23.9% from the last year’s exports The main destinations of exports were:
  • United States
  • Germany
  • France
  • Israel
  • Iraq

These are highly regulated markets where the expectations and the standards of quality are, literally, world-class.

Furniture made in Turkey is made to all segments of the market, there are brands producing to the high-quality, luxury end of the market. These are brands that would fare well even against the famous Italian quality of furniture production. Some of our favorites are:

  1. Fuga Mobilya
  2. Uz Mobilya
  3. Casa Mobilya

There is a countless number of manufacturers producing to each and every need of the market, starting from bad to the excellent quality of manufacture. Question is, how do you find the right one? Start here, at our Best Furniture Brands in Turkey - Top 10 list.

Well, it’s very difficult to not be from the furniture market of Turkey, to not speak Turkish, and then to make the collaborate with the producer that meet your standards and that you can completely trust on the first try. It would most likely be a very costly and time-consuming trial and error period until you found the right supplier

Or, you could work with a trustworthy partner such as Eurus Concept and let us negotiate for you with the right brands, handle purchase processes, logistical operations, quality control, and customs clearance while you can just focus on selling your imported goods with ease of mind and comfort.

Turkish Furniture Production

Turkey’s furniture manufacture concentrates in these four areas:
  • Istanbul
  • Kayseri
  • İzmir
  • İnegöl (Province of Bursa)

These cities all have different expertise and specialties. For example, Kayseri is known for high quantity, linear production. They are export-focused and have a lot of dismantled furniture production suited to retail selling.

These cities all have flagship brands with the know-how of serial and systematic, machine-assisted productions. Turkish manufacturers use the same machines and systems European manufacturers use, on a smaller scale.

Turkish manufacturers are starting to pick up speed on the outdoor types of furniture in the last two years (seats, tables, sun lounges, etc.) made usually with teak wood, iroko wood, and aluminum. Which was mostly produced in China before. The Turkish manufacturers are agile, quick to adapt and innovate, and ambitious to meet the standards of their European competitors.

Post COVID-19

Ships at port unloading containers

COVID-19 affected every sector and everyone’s lives, naturally, the furniture industry too. The demand for containers increased a lot during the pandemic because of increasing maritime trade traffic which caused the freight forwarding prices to increase substantially.

This affects all countries but it perhaps affects China the most, as a big chunk of the country’s exports relies on the maritime channels. This means there could be a shift to alternative, cheaper routes.

This leaves Turkey in a very advantageous spot as most of its trades to Europe is done through roads, so the freight forwarding is not a concern for importers of furniture from Turkey

Conclusion & Final Thoughts

In the highly competitive global market with endless varying metrics, circumstances can change from one side to another, and what may be the norm now may not be tomorrow.

The market’s circumstances have changed for sure post COVID, those who adapt the quickest to it will thrive while those resistant to change will be left behind.

Turkish furniture is rapidly growing, quickly adapting, and improving the industry. The manufacturers deliver world-class furniture with trendy designs that are reliable and of high quality. We think that Turkish furniture is ready to play a much more active role in the next decade to come, globally.