It is time to rethink the strategies in the Brazilian furniture industry

After a resumption of growth in the Brazilian furniture industry in March 2021, the furniture and bedding (mattresses) volume produced in April decreased by 18.3% over the previous month. Despite showing a loss of pace at the factories, which came from a historical series of positive results in the second half of 2020, the outlook remains satisfactory. In the first four months of 2021 in relation to the same period last year, the increase in volume is 24.7%.

Produced pieces in millions

The apparent consumption of furniture and mattresses in Brazil was 28.4 million pieces in the fourth month of the year. A number that represents a decrease of 20.4% compared to the previous month and an increase of 25.1% compared to the accumulated result for the year. The imported products share in domestic consumption was 3.1% in April, compared to 3.4% in March.

This environment is portrayed in the last “Furniture Conjuncture” – a report developed by IEMI – Market Intelligence on demand for ABIMÓVEL – The Brazilian Furniture Manufacturers Association, providing its members and the furniture market with reliable and strategic information for management and for the next steps of their business.

And it is not hard to understand these results. On the one hand, stricter social restrictions limited production and trade in the second quarter of last year, thus justifying the significant growth in the comparison between the first months of 2021 and 2020. On the other hand, demand stabilization combined with challenges related to the purchase of inputs and raw materials after the boom in sales in the sector, pointed to a slowdown in consumption and manufacturing activity. An issue that we will continue to be followed closely by ABIMÓVEL.

Employment rates in the Brazilian furniture industry

In this scenario, therefore, the employment volume in the national furniture industry decreased by 0.8% in April compared to March 2021. As observed in the other categories of the study, however, there was a growth in employment in the year: +3.6%. A result that maintains the sector as a reference in employment generation in the country.

The number of hours worked also decreased compared to the previous month (-6.6%). Compared to the accumulated between January and April, however, the growth was 19.1%. Thus, it was to be expected that labor productivity would also decline in the month (-12.6%) and rise in the year (+6.9%). The wage bill, in turn, decreased by 1.7% in April, reaching R$ 351.7 million.

Exports and Imports

When it comes to foreign trade, furniture exports reached US$ 83.5 million in April 2021. This result represents an increase of 13.3% compared to March figures. In May, however, exports of furniture and bedding (mattresses) dropped by 3.4%, totaling US$ 80.6 million.

Brazil also imported around US$ 15.5 million in furniture and mattresses in April 2021, which represents a drop of 25.3% compared to the previous month. In the following month, in May, imports grew by 34.3% compared to April. The value imported in the fifth month of the year reached US$ 20.9 million.

Furniture and bedding retail: Understanding consumer behavior

To finalize our analysis, helping us to have a more tangible understanding of the buying behavior at the end of the chain, that is, of the final consumers in the retail stores, the sales in volume of pieces in the national retail showed a growth of 9.9% in April in comparison with the previous month (when there was a decrease of 3.4%). In the accumulated result for the year, the indicator registered even greater variation, around 18.7%.

Nominal sales, therefore, in values, registered growth of 11% compared to March and 21.4% between January and April 2021 in relation to the same period of the previous year. a panorama that demonstrates that the demand for furniture showed progress with a recovery in the fourth month of the year.

It is important to note that according to the Broad Consumer Price Index (IPCA) of the IBGE – Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics, national furniture prices increased by 0.81% in May 2021 compared to the previous month. In the year, the index already accumulates an increase of 5.1% in retail. What can, therefore, intimidate consumption in the upcoming months.

For this reason, it is essential that manufacturers and retailers share and debate the indicators presented here, in order to understand and meet the new dynamics of the furniture sector and the demands of consumption in Brazil. Emphasizing the constant challenge of adding value without charging production or the consumer.


Brazilian Furniture Manufacturers Association – ABIMÓVEL

Press Office: Thaís Laurindo | | +55 14 99857-0108