After 2012, the black year for the furnishing industry, in 2013 the sector continues its unabated decline and suffer the negative consequences of the economic crisis and the uncertainties arising from the problems of the Eurozone that have crippled the European consumption.

The year closed with a further decrease in turnover of 17.7 billion euro (-2.5 %). This confirms a modest export growth (+ 2.5%) that touches share of 10.8 billion Euros and the drastic reduction of domestic consumption (-8.2% ), amounting to 9.6 billion euro.

This negativity has been felt throughout the supply chain with more than 660 companies that have gone out of business and nearly 4,000 employees out of work. These are just some of the consequences due to the difficulties in which navigates the domestic market: the situation, moreover, would have been even more dramatic without the tax incentives for home and furnishing, which represented a beacon of hope for manufacturing enterprises of the sector. The so-called bonus furniture, causing extra power consumption in the final market with an estimated value of 1.9 billion euro, has been a real breath of fresh air for many businesses further limiting the free fall in recent years in the domestic market.

2014 is a year of uncertainty for Italy: if, on the one hand, there are signs of a growth in international trade that will drive exports in the sector, on the other hand, continue to be no encouraging signs for the domestic market. In fact, projections indicate a 3.5% growth in the export but a further decline of 4% for domestic consumption. The demand is mainly located in emerging countries (China, India, Russia, as well as Mexico , Brazil, Turkey, Indonesia and South Africa) but there are also positive signs from the EU countries.

Unfortunately, only a few companies are structured to tackle the international markets and to manage the design and production of custom-made furniture in the European market and even more in the non-European. This scenario is influenced by a variety of critical issues that companies are facing in an attempt to regain competitiveness: an increasingly high level of quality demanded by customers, the need for expansion of products, the use of new materials and the increasing of international competition.

In particular, to counter increasing competition like the Chinese one, many Italian companies are making strategic upgrading actions to reposition upwards. The key to this strategy is the intrinsic quality of the offer and the component of design: always been a strength of the Made in Italy, the design is a critical success factor by which companies must restart to implement a renewal " design-driven " and put the same design as a powerful symbolic means of expression or consolidation of its brand.