Economy - published on 26 September 2023
Source: Study and Statistics Office of the Treviso-Belluno |Dolomites Chamber of Commerce
The “Wood Furniture Industrial District” covers a vast territory encompassing the Sinistra Piave in the area of Treviso and is given by the union of two industrial districts the Quartier Piave and Livenza industrial districts, which over the years have gradually expanded until they joined. It also includes, some highly specialized furniture municipalities in the provinces of Belluno (North) and Venice (South). The district also borders and intersects with the Friuli District of “Livenza Furniture” comprising 11 municipalities in the province of Pordenone.
Companies in the district specialize in the production of modern furniture and oversee every stage of the supply chain from raw materials to finished products. Production is not limited to home furniture, but includes office, commercial and niche furniture (for hotels, airports, cruise ships, etc.) and extends to components, packaging, fixtures and fittings, panels, flooring and semi-finished products. Quality craftsmanship and production flexibility combined with the most advanced technological solutions and attention to design are at the basis of the success of the district, which boasts companies included in important international supply chains and excellent success in the contract market.
The ongoing ecological transition also involves the wood-furniture supply chain, which is undergoing a phase of relevant transformation extended to all business stages, from design to production and after-sales service, with an increasingly direct focus on the implementation of a sustainable and circular economy. Some interesting evidence on this issue emerges from Intesa San Paolo‘s latest report on districts.
Alongside the different types of investments – which enable a more efficient and sustainable use of natural resources – the Intesa San Paolo study also analyzed companies’ adherence to environmental certifications as an important tool for reducing environmental risks and, above all, for increasing and consolidating corporate reputation. Adherence to environmental certifications, in fact, is an issue that companies in the wood-furniture districts must increasingly address in order to meet the demands of their target markets (especially the foreign market) and because of the need to meet certain quality (e.g., use of raw materials of certified origin) and safety standards required by environmental protocols.
In this respect, companies in the Italian wood-furniture supply chain show, on the whole, a good propensity to obtain environmental certifications, especially those located in districts: the share of companies holding environmental certifications is on average higher than those operating in non-specialized areas both in terms of numerosity (13.7% versus 7.2%) and turnover (37.7% versus 18.2%).
For the Treviso Wood and Furniture District, the share of companies with environmental certifications is even higher than the district average (16.9 percent), while in terms of turnover it is just below the average share (35.4%).
At the end of 2021, according to statistical data from the Register of Companies compiled by Infocamere, there were 1,004 active branches of wood and furniture companies in the municipalities of the district, 898 of which are in the province of Treviso, plus 485 branches, 422 of which are in the Treviso area, employing more than 17,600 people in the territory.
In any case, it should be pointed out that wood and furniture companies are increasingly interacting, both upstream and downstream in the supply chain, with other companies, such as: professional firms specializing in market research, design, engineering and industrialization of products, or component and accessory companies from other sectors (e.g., plastics, glass, metal components, home appliance, home automation, etc.) located in production hubs that are local, but not limited to them.
With reference to business performance, the analyses – conducted by Intesa Sanpaolo on 386 companies in the district – show, for the companies in the sample, a turnover of nearly 3.2 billion euros for 2020, down by -11.1% (median values) compared to 2019 due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
The strong export vocation of the Treviso wood and furniture district, however, has mitigated the pandemic effects: in 2020, the province of Treviso exported furniture worth nearly €1.7 billion, containing the decline compared to 2019 to -6.5% (-119 million), thanks to a sharp recovery in the second half of the year (+6.0% year-on-year). And in 2021, the sector’s exports are back above pre-Covid levels (€1.8 billion; +1.8% compared to 2019; +33 million), thanks to good a performance in Intra-EU markets, which account for 57% of the sector’s exports in 2021.
Good performance in France, the first market for the sector with an 18.4% share of the sector’s exports in 2021: sales in the German market exceeded pre-Covid levels by +7.5%. Excellent results also in Germany, the second largest market for the sector with 16.3% of total sales, up +11.3% on 2019. The increase in exports to Poland was important as well: +69% over 2019, +25 million.
Weak performance in Non-EU markets, where pre-pandemic levels have not been reached yet (-8.2% compared to 2019). The main year-on-year declines are observed for:
Compared to 2020, sales grow in the UK (+25.7 percent) and Russia (+13.7 percent). However in the UK market, the industry’s fourth largest market with 178.6 million purchases from the province, the rebound in the year is not enough to bring exports back to 2019 levels (-8.2%, -15.9 million). In the Russian market, however, sales exceed pre-pandemic levels by +8.7% to nearly 49 million (+4 million over 2019).
by the Study and Statistics Office of the Treviso – Belluno |Dolomites Chamber of Commerce