Professionals held a discussion at online Furniture Retail Forum

24 / 11 / 2020

Furniture Retail Forum, organised by FCProject Agency and EXPOCENTRE AO, was held within the Mebel 2020 online programme of supporting events.

Experts of the furniture industry, representatives of the professional online stores, marketplaces and industry platforms took part in the Forum.

The event was opened by Viktor Gryaznov, account manager of the Furniture business unit at Yandex. In his report he presented analytical data characterising the main tools for finding furniture on the Internet by end users. The representative of the Yandex company spoke about how furniture is searched for and purchased in the autumn 2020. According to Viktor Gryaznov, in October 2020 one could observe a surge of interest in furniture. Kitchen furniture was particularly popular (demand for this category increased by 33% compared to the same period in 2019 both in Moscow and the regions).

Speaking about the peculiarities of the furniture demand in Moscow and the regions, the speaker noted: "In the regions, demand for children's room furniture increased by 18%, which is significantly higher than in Moscow (+9%). In general, the growth is in all directions in terms of consumer demand". At the end of the report, Viktor Gryaznov presented the most effective tools of Yandex, which will help furniture manufacturers to promote their products in the network and increase sales.

Maxim Genke, Commercial Director of Hoff, spoke about the digital transformation of the company and the new opportunities that furniture manufacturers have to offer. "Since the beginning of the pandemic, our company has started to create a home marketplace," Genke said. - This platform will enable small and medium businesses to sell furniture to Hoff customers".

"The pandemic period has become a catalyst for online trading, including in the segment of furniture and household goods", said Alexander Slutsky, AliExpress Russia Business Development Manager, in his report. According to the speaker, marketplaces analysts have seen a rather significant leap both in sales and in audience growth, which obviously gives suppliers the opportunity to increase sales of their products online.

Semyon Abbakumov, Performance Leader Online of Leroy Merlin, Anna Kleimenova, a representative of WildBerries, and other experts continued the discussion on the development of marketplaces and the opportunities that arise for furniture manufacturers. 

In the second part of the Forum, participants discussed the main trends in the future development of the industry. Maxim Valetsky, Founder of MrDoors, aroused a sharp discussion on the impact of artificial intelligence on the furniture industry. Maxim Valetsky predicted a situation in which neural networks, or artificial intelligence, will soon be able to replace constructors and optimise routine operations in furniture companies.

Not all forum participants agreed with Valetsky's position. For example, Roman Ershov, Director General of Askona Group, in his speech recommended that furniture companies should stay in their niche, not try to overtake technological companies, but focus on specialising in production and improving the enterprise management system.

Project Head of the Mebel exhibition Tatiana Samuseva addressed the participants of the online event with a welcoming speech.

In her speech, she noted that the Mebel team had done everything possible and impossible for the exhibition to take place as scheduled. But unfortunately, the circumstances turned out to be stronger.

"Dear friends, we highly appreciate your trust and value EXPOCENTRE's reputation as the leading exhibition venue in Russia, so in this situation we made a difficult decision to postpone the Mebel exhibition to 2021.

We understand that the Mebel exhibition was always the final event of the business season and a platform for summing up the results, so we made a decision to organise online programme of supporting events in the terms of the exhibition".

Tatiana Samuseva also spoke about the need to reset the project in the new realities, and that many new solutions were planned for 2020, which will certainly be developed next year.

For example, a new Kitchen Space section, which will bring together manufacturers of kitchen and smart kitchen components, accessories and design solutions at the same site. The equipment section for furniture production will be presented in a new way and will be supported by the accompanying programme.

In conclusion, Tatyana Samuseva stressed once again that the exhibition is a joint effort of the exhibition team and exhibitors. "Therefore, our reboot is impossible without your advice, your ideas and hints, with which the project can develop and be useful to the industry.

And we, for our part, are always open to everything new and constructive".

Watch the video.

Mebel 2020 online programme of supporting events: https://www.meb-expo.ru/ru/events/

Press Service, EXPOCENTRE AO