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28 July 2022, 09:10

Belarus' furniture companies urged to occupy niche vacated by European retailers

GOMEL, 28 July (BelTA) – The departure of European retail chains should not be viewed as a loss, but rather as a vacated niche for Belarusian woodworking and furniture manufacturers, Deputy Prime Minister Yuri Nazarov told journalists during his visit to the Gomeldrev woodworking and furniture company, BelTA informs.

The deputy prime minister was briefed on the company's operations and its plans to increase furniture output, boost exports and grow sales in the domestic market. He studied the assortment in the company store, as well as the manufacturing process in the workshops.

The company's management assured that the enterprise has everything in place to boost sales in the domestic market: a long-standing market presence, advanced technologies, new designs and solutions and high quality products. The company is expanding its presence in foreign markets and exploring new export destinations. The company has been maintaining business and friendly contacts with a number of partners for decades.

According to Yuri Nazarov, the EU sanctions in the form of discontinuation of the FSC certification and restrictions on the supply of a number of woodworking products could not but affect the work of the domestic woodworking industry. “After all, we have been actively working in the EU markets for decades. At the same time, the situation cannot be called critical, as our exports of woodworking products are quite balanced geographically. It means that our exports are nearly equally distributed between several sales markets: the EAEU - the EU - and other countries, including the countries of Asia and Africa. Thus, our current task is to redirect about 30% of exports,” he said.

According to the deputy prime minister, Belarusian manufacturers should step up their efforts to substitute imports in the domestic market. “The departure of European retail chains is not a loss, in my opinion, but a vacated niche for our manufacturers of woodworking products and furniture. Earlier they sold their products through a well-known intermediary, while now they will work directly, selling the same products in their brand stores, including online. Buyers will only benefit from this in terms of prices,” he stressed.

To illustrate his point Yuri Nazarov cited the recently opened Ivatsevichdrev furniture showroom in Minsk, where products of the entire woodworking holding company are presented: chipboard, MDF, flooring and furniture. “There is a domestic demand for these goods and it must be satisfied by domestic manufacturers. In this regard, the work of Ivatsevichdrev is illustrative: the furniture sales in the domestic market double every month. Both plate and furniture productions are doing much better, thus the export is no longer a problem. Other manufacturers are moving in the same direction,” he said.

Founded in 1879, Gomeldrev is one of the country's largest and oldest furniture enterprises. It runs a full production cycle: from logging, sawmilling, drying, woodworking to production of finished products. At present the company offers more than 300 names of furniture products, over 150 names of wooden frame, plywood, MDF boards (sanded and laminated), flooring, piece parquet and parquet boards, sliced veneer, lumber, and much more.

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