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The Availability Of Modern Furniture In New Zealand - An Update For Furniture Buyers
A Little Bit Of Background Information
As the country that is able to boast the largest plantation forest in the world, New Zealand has a surprisingly low output in terms of exported timber related products, contributing less than 1% of the worlds demand in terms of industrial timber.
Again, surprisingly, for such a widely forested country, timber accounts for only 4% of New Zealand's gross Domestic Product, (GDP), another surprising figure.
Given these statistics, one could be forgiven for thinking that there is a substantial demand for timber internally and, as such, New Zealand does not have to rely too heavily on exporting timber to the rest of the world. A lot of New Zealand’s home grown timber is used for construction purposes and, despite the above statistics, much of the rest goes into the export of processed timber such as paneling, chippings, logs and paper products.
One industry that, of course, has a major requirement for timber is the modem furniture industry. Although furniture is not one of the products that New Zealand is particularly known for, there is a very active furniture manufacturing industry there and it is the area where I am currently concentrating my research.
Understanding The Numbers - Putting Statistics Into Context.
A leading online directory, (Yellow), actually lists over 320 furniture manufacturing businesses in New Zealand but this covers all types of furniture, modern furniture, traditional and commercial furniture, (office furniture including desks, office chairs, cabinets, school furniture etc).
So what is the outlook in New Zealand for anyone who is on a quest to find top quality modern furniture, someone who seeks the ultimate living experience in their home?
A good place to start is online. There is an ongoing debate about which industries are suitable and easily lend themselves to online sales and, on the other hand, those that do not.
Many people feel that modern furniture is one of those items that needs to be seen, touched and experienced before a purchasing decision is made. Although this is a compelling argument, and it is certainly true of furniture that is to have a very prominent place in the purchaser's home or, possibly, place of work, many furniture purchases can confidently be made from an online store without the need to visit a showroom and actually seeing the items first.
Researching and Making A Shortlist
Some forward thinking and well-established New Zealand furniture retailers have embraced these trends and, in some cases, have had the commercial vision to design their business around an online presence that complements a “bricks and mortar” store whilst still leaving the ultimate purchasing decision to be made in a showroom where the goods in question can be seen and touched.
The benefits to this are obvious; the customer can spend as long as necessary browsing websites, identifying products that they are interested in and compiling a shortlist.
Once a shortlist has been made, the sores concerned can be visited and the products that have been identified can be seen “in the flesh” and tried for size. Although some sites do have online ordering that was not considered to be vitally important since the preference of many purchasers is to see the item before buying.
Most people would agree that with a significant furniture purchase it is still a big advantage to be able to see the item(s) concerned before placing an order as potential problems with the proposed purchase cannot always be detected from a photograph. For this reason alone, an online store, whilst it may have a part to play, is not necessarily a deal breaker in most cases.
Conclusion - a Winning Combination
I concluded that, the winning combination of online details, including accurate measurements, good quality photographs, colour options and other important information, is a prerequisite for successful furniture retailing.
When combined with a locally based showroom staffed by knowledgeable salespeople and advisors, the online/offline proposition was found to be available to potential customers in certain areas, including towns such as Auckland, New Zealand where I was focusing my research at the time of writing this article.
A simple Google search will find several furniture retailers in the Auckland area, that have both an online presence and a bricks and mortar store. The results of such a search would be a good place to start your search for modern furniture in New Zealand.and further details are given below in the links section of this article.
Useful Information & Links
Eighty per cent of New Zealand furniture is made from wood or wood products and research shows there are still business opportunities through a growing desire for New Zealand designed furniture.
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