Sourcing around Asia could be a daunting task even for professional furniture and home accessories procurement persons.
Everyone in the industry would agree that China is the best and most convenient place to source from. Yet with its vast territory and differences in strength and styles of production which also differs from provinces to provinces, procurement persons usually starts with visiting the prominent trade fairs.
Furniture China in Shanghai is held in every September, it’s undoubtedly one of the most important trade fairs. The show covers a wide range of furniture design made with different methods and materials. It is especially ideal for sourcing upholstery, with a relatively large portion dedicated to this sector.
Every year, the China International Furniture Fair (CIFF) is held alternately between Guangzhou and Shanghai in March and September respectively. The event is considered also as an important event for sourcing, both editions of CIFF cover a wide range of furniture as well. If one is looking for both indoor and outdoor furniture that fits the Middle Eastern, African or Eastern European markets, the show is definitely not to be missed.
There are two must-see shows for industry people trying to look for international or local brands, established or upcoming, with a touch of design.
First is Design Shanghai each March. It features some of the best-known brands from Italy and other countries as well as several Chinese local designers‘ products that many will find interesting. Second one is the Chinese take of the Salone del Mobile in Milan, which will have its second edition coming in November in Shanghai. This fair is primarily showcasing designs and products from Italy. Both fairs would be especially useful for local businessmen trying to work with international brands. Likewise overseas sourcing professional could establish working relationship with Chinese local designers or brands alike.
On top of China, there are several places in Asia that sourcing professionals might not want to miss as well.
Malaysia is famous for wooden artisan-style furniture, thanks to its abundance of natural wood supplies and a long history in wooden furniture making. To look for the best of Malaysian furniture, one must go to Malaysian International Furniture Fair each March in Kuala Lumpur, which is claimed to be the largest furniture trade fair in Southeast Asia. Or one could visit the International Furniture Fair Singapore – ASEAN Furniture Show (IFFS / AFS 2018), which is happening around the same time in the neighboring Singapore, but with a focus that is shifted more towards design and technology.
Another country which has been supplying furniture made from natural materials is the Phillipines. The Philippine International Furniture Show in Manila each March would be the best place for industry people to source for rattan and wicker furniture.
Vietnam has been following China as the second biggest furniture exporter in Asia. The Vietname International Furniture & Home Accessories Fair each March is one of the leading trade events in the country. As Chinese labor costs are rising, foreign importers now tend to shift orders to Vietnam. So Vietnam is definitely not a strange place for furniture professionals.
With most of these shows happening in March each year, in more or less the same week, it is simply impossible for one single person to visit all shows in person. Sourcing companies with the resources and needs would each year arrange different personnel or teams to cover these shows physically. For companies with less resources, one might definitely need to make a trade-off, and pick THE most suitable fair/s to visit. Or, one might need to find some other channels to source!
Please comment if you’d like to share any big furniture event. Thank you!