In the past, wealthy Chinese generally prefer more intricate and ostentatious furniture. But that has gradually changed.
To the growing number of China’s wealthy second generation, many of whom have received education overseas and influenced by western tastemakers, stylish design has become key for their furniture purchase decisions. Their preferences are toward modern and understated designs.
Foreign furniture manufacturers sense big opportunities in China. For example, American brand Fine Furniture Design entered China by opening a flagship store in Beijing this January. In August 2009, Beijing also welcomed the Italian brand Savio Firmino.
They face two strong competitors – Da Vinci Group, a Singapore-based high-end household retailer, and Shanghai-based Yun Dian Furniture, whose pieces are all made in mahogany. Both were voted 2009’s most favorable furniture dealers by wealthy Chinese, according to Hurun Research Institute, a Shanghai-based company tracking China’s upper class.
Da Vinci is a perfect store for the younger, dynamic consumers who love furnishing inspired by high fashion. Going to the Da Vinci store in downtown Shanghai, consumers will see collections from Kenzo Maison, Fendi casa, Armani casa and Versace home. Yun Dian targets the older consumers, offering pieces in traditional Chinese styles, often with some Western inspiration.
photo credit : armani casa, fine furniture design