short commertial break
A short commercial break
(August 2008,Ref. www.furnituerenews.net)
Egypt is a country going to great lengths to establish itself in the international furniture market, and the annual Furnex exhibition is its focus. This year’s event took place from 2nd-6th June, and featured over 170 exhibitors, principally comprising modern and classical furniture producers. Egypt boasts keen quality levels and competitive prices – but how many retailers are willing to risk dealing with such an unproven source?
THE short answer is very few –despite repeated attempts to woo the UK buying contingent with a great travel opportunity to Cairo, five-star hotel accommodation and personal factory visits, it appears that the domestic market is unenthusiastic when it comes to buying stock from new suppliers.While not much of a surprise,given the current retail climate, it is a shame that the potential of this young market is not being fully realized by the domestic sector. Instead, this potential is being seized by the contract market,which, by all accounts, is finding Egypt to be a reliable, lucrative manufacturing base.Many of the quality control issues that arise with any new market have been addressed, and the new designs emerging from the country lend themselves well to hotel interiors.
The scheme aims to promote ceramics, pottery, textiles, stoneand wood-working within the wider context of Egypt’s classical production. The shift in product at Furnex, from highly-finished, Italian/American-styled goods to hand-woven rugs and stained leathers, can jar somewhat – but the show is concerned chiefly with demonstrating Egypt’s breadth of vision, and the exhibitors are categorised well enough that it presents little problem. Egypt’s classical, traditional stylings have always been a great strength, and the content of these halls find much favour with local buyers, many of which attend the show’s extended evening sessions. For guests from the interior design world, the impressive modern installation, The Home,brought together ideas from some of the world’s leading designers, in a display themed around the different areas of a house, designed by Mohamed Fares and Karim Mekhtigian from the Alchemy design studio. Next year’s edition will be even more comprehensive – a move to newer, larger premises will herald the presence of a tranche of companies from surrounding countries, widening the sourcing opportunities. With Italian sources increasingly stretched, and Chinese goods rapidly losing their competitive pricing edge, more and more specifiers are turning to the middle