Polish manufacturers join forces for April Market

HIGH POINT – Seven major Polish furniture manufacturers are coming to April High Point Market to exhibit in a shared showroom, space 204 of the 220 Elm building.

Under the auspices of the Polish Chamber of Commerce of Furniture Manufacturers with co-financing from the Polish National Foundation, the participating companies will show a range of furniture categories and home décor in an effort to build Poland’s “brand” as a furniture resource for North American markets.

Poland already has emerged as a major source country for furniture. In 2019, according to the Polish furniture chamber, Poland will generate a sold production of around $12.9 billion – 90% for the export market – which would push it past Germany into second place behind China in terms of furniture exports.

Beyond price value and quality, however, the manufacturers’ participation in High Point Market looks to educate U.S. buyers of Poland’s furniture industry pedigree and history. The furniture chamber also hopes cooperative exhibits such as this April’s will help Poland’s highly fragmented furniture industry – more than 28,000 companies ranging from workshops to high-capacity factories – to build a strong national brand.

Committed to the market

The joint exhibition already has committed to High Point Market not only for this April’s show, but also for October this year and April 2021 in order for participants to establish business partnerships stateside and create a positive image and consistent presence in the U.S. market.

The participating manufacturers in the Polish exhibition include:

  • Case goods manufacturer Szynaka, which already has product sold in North America through Ikea.
  • Full-line manufacturer Black Red White, which also operates around 1,000 retail locations throughout Poland.
  • Upholstery producer Gala Collezione.
  • Uphostery manufacturer Benix.
  • Occasional, accent furniture and home décor producer Zieta.
  • Mid-century European seating maker Vzor.
  • Solid wood bedroom, dining and occasional manufacturer Raw.

“We chose the United States because in this market we need to present Polish companies as a strong group,” said Jan Szynaka, president of the Polish Chamber of Commerce of Furniture Manufacturers and CEO of Szynaka, adding Polish companies need a strong group showing to reach further into the U.S. market.

“It is also a new promotion model that allows combining the potential of companies with building the image of Poland as a country offering branded products,” he said.

Marcin Zarzecki, president of the Polish National Foundation, which is co-financing the High Point exhibition project, said it creates an opportunity to create a consistent image of Poland here for quality and export expertise.

“Polish products are a Polish success that needs to promoted in the world,” Zarzecki said. “In our opinion, the implementation of the Polish furniture project provides tools for achieving our goal.”

The Polish furniture chamber and Polish National Foundation started working to develop a strategy to promote the country’s furniture-export image in December 2018.

“We managed to find a way to promote Poland and its cultural heritage and economic potential by combining the achievements of Polish designers and furniture manufacturers,” said Tomasz Wiktorski, co-author of the concept of the project. “Launching the project is a great success of the furniture industry and an opportunity to show that we can successfully enter new markets by joining forces and presenting a comprehensive offering of Polish furniture.”

A design pedigree

In addition to introducing more U.S. buyers to what Poland has to offer, the exhibit also will reflect the country’s design heritage.

Internationally recognized Polish designers include Oskar Zieta, Maja Ganszyniec, Tomasz Rygalik, Robert Konieczny, Tomasz Kuchcinski and Tomasz Augustyniak. Further back, designers such as Wanda Telakowska, Boguslaw and Czeslawa Kowalski, and Roman Modzelewski spread their influence in the 1950s through 1970s.   (Exhibitor Vzór, which produces furniture by Modzelewski’s design, is responsible for designing the Polish showroom in 220 Elm.)