European high-end interiors brands flock to Vietnam

By Vien Thong   June 16, 2019 | 10:43 pm PT
European high-end interiors brands flock to Vietnam
Italian furniture brands are entering Vietnam seeking to cater to high-end demand. Photo by Phuc Nguyen.
Vietnam is attracting Italian and other European interior manufacturers with its strong demand for premium furniture.

Products made by 10 European brands including Baxter, Ceccotti Collezioni and Dimensione Chi Wing Lo were recently on display at a new 2,000-square-meter showroom in Hanoi.

Ly Qui Trung, CEO of Vietnamese company AKA Furniture, said demand for high-end furniture in Vietnam, despite its low GDP per capita, is no less than in Hong Kong or Singapore.

"In Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi, we have customers who seek premium products just like people in Italy and other developed countries."

Though a Vietnamese spends only $30 on wood and wood products a year, lower than the global average of $72, according to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, industry insiders said demand is strong in the premium segment.

Research and consulting firm Concetti said the Vietnamese furniture market has been growing strongly in the last three years, especially the high-end segment. Vietnamese consumers spent $15.6 million on luxury furniture from Italy in 2017.

Paolo Lemma, Italy’s trade commissioner to Vietnam, said it is not unusual to see someone buy a penthouse in Hanoi with interiors imported from Europe.

Trung said there is higher demand in the high-end segment in the north than the south. "Northern people are willing to spend on the most expensive and most luxurious items. The more unique a product is, the more they are willing to pay."

Some 80 percent of luxury woodwork and interior decoration items in Vietnam is imported from Europe, with local players accounting for the rest, according to the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

The country’s wood and furniture market is valued at $2.5 billion, it added.

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