Import Replacement Presents Massive Opportunities for Furniture Manufacturers

New market-led intelligence from the EFC could enable the rapid recovery of the Furniture Sector


The next 36 months hold unprecedented opportunities for the local furniture manufacturing industry. Recent market research by the eThekwini Furniture Cluster (EFC) shows that South Africa’s leading furniture retailers are looking to replace imports by sourcing up to 2 million units per year from local manufacturers.


According to Paige Sherriff, Project Manager for the EFC, more than 50% of South Africa’s furniture is currently imported, mostly from China. “In 2019, South Africa imported R11bn furniture from China but due to a range of factors, our research shows that over the next three years the large furniture retailers have decided to source more goods locally,” says Paige.


The EFC’s intelligence is based on feedback from three of South Africa’s leading independent retailers predicts a 3-4% year-on-year growth opportunity for buying local, specifically in upholstered furniture, office furniture and case goods, presenting the most opportunity for local manufacturers to take advantage of local supply. Retailers are looking to local manufacturers to supply the 2 million units required to meet the expected market demand.