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Italian bathroom furniture focuses on foreign markets

For years Italian industry (and the country itself) was blamed for lack of cooperation and absence of clear system. Something is moving on now in a field of bathroom furniture, as a reaction of noticeable sales default, mainly on domestic market in the last few years. Well, from 2009 and 2014 the sales has fallen 4% and a lot of companies has been closed: to counter this situation, stated another way recession, manufacturers and distributors have united theirs forces to revive the sales. 

For this purpose the year 2015 is considered as a year of revival of bathroom furniture:  not only 1,3% of production recovered, but also Italian market came back positive, even by negligible 0,2%. In entire sector has 2,6 billion turnover and in 2016 these positive signals should be consolidated.  

Salone del Mobile that took place in Milan, in April 2016, has shown very good results, even if on the basis of the report there was noted only stabilization of the sales.  But the first quarter of the year characterized by recovery of selling, and next months (May and June) boosted the results. The same time, this trend has urged a slowdown in some of foreign markets, but Italy remained untouched. This trend depicts a fact, that sector of bathroom furniture has got some advantages from the government as tax incentives: in 2013 was introduced the Bonus Mobili. This is a bonus to keep back from income declaration, up to 50% of the charges under 16.000 EUR, that has been spent to furnish the home and reconstruction. Total amount to be divided into 10 equal annual payments.

The same time positive signals confirm that Italian companies of bathroom furniture field got to know how to innovate the strategy of distribution and the product itself, making emphasis on investments. The penetration on Italian market connected to strict collaboration between association of distributors Angasia and association of manufacturers Assobagno. The foreign markets represent noticeable part of all sales turn over (about 45%) and thus, it is necessary to establish a strategy for the future taking into consideration its high importance. It is valuated, that export will take even more in total turnover. The first thing to do is to renovate the interior design, mainly the bathrooms, following the popular trends. For example, in resort and luxury hotels a bathroom is not only a service, but an ambient dedicated to relax, wellness and beauty. So, the bathroom furniture sector should push the multifunctional products and of creative design, with integrated technologies (sensors, touch elements, chromo-and- aromatherapy) 

In connection to this aspect, companies should invest into research and development: only in this way they will be able to present on the market innovative products, made of new materials and technologies. Nowadays, clients pay attention to great number of characteristics, among them water and energy saving. The third point is about development of major suppliers (mainly export) and use the contracts channel.

As for example, the supplier of bathroom furniture may become the main contractor and in this way it is involved into a management of interior design and architecture. Of course a contract sector is a very difficult business, and it is important to build well-coordinated work with design agencies, manufactures, distributors and others. Here should be created kind of a network of companies who will make a plan and a strategy how to penetrate the foreign markets, as Middle East, China, and the USA. The United States together with Germany are the main markets: in 2015 the export to this countries increased by 13,4%. We may say, internationalism of Italian bathroom furniture is the same time a challenge and a great opportunity not to lose. 

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