The company’s Swan bedroom set

The company’s Swan bedroom set

Singapore’s Star voices view

The company gives its take on furniture preferences in the Gulf, a region that accounts for a significant portion of its overseas sales

June 2015

With the Gulf’s middle class market having grown in recent years, neo classic and contemporary furniture styles have gained popularity there, a Singapore-based manufacturer says.

“For higher-end markets, classical style is always their first choice,” said Kenny Koh, group managing director of the company. 

Star Furniture Pte has been exporting to the Gulf over the past 15 years and has studied market traits there.

“Our customers are mainly big lifestyle chain stores, furniture retailers and project and contract companies. Gulf state markets are characterised by their relatively stable buying power… It is interesting to note that the consumer usually requires a big dining table up to 12 seaters, and a big wardrobe, up to eight doors.”

The company counts its Almira and Swan bedroom sets, both in neo-classic designs, as its top products in the region. They are preferred in high gloss spray paint and silver hairline or gold leaf foil decoration.

“Neo-classic has been well-received in the Gulf states lately as the market has been saturated with classical style furniture. Both the designs are more suitable for apartment living where young couples are likely to live in. This two ranges took up about 10 per cent of our total sales for the Gulf in 2014,” said Koh.

The Gulf market comprises 20 per cent of Star’s export business. The company’s main factory is in China and the bulk of its raw material is also sourced there.

Koh said sales in the Gulf have been relatively stable over the 2013-2014 period.

“We have been dedicating a substantial amount of effort to developing products and designs specially for Gulf markets. In consideration of their stable economy, we foresee our business to grow about 20 -30 per cent over the next three years. We will continue to explore new business leads and also maintain our relationship and support to existing clients, many of whom are looking to expand steadily within the Gulf region.

Star is a home furniture maker and its merchandise encompasses all furniture in the home except for the kitchen. The company is known especially for its bedroom and dining room furniture. Coupled with a strong in-house design team, it develops new designs every quarter to expand its offerings to existing customers as well as new markets.

“Our Gavino collection, including the bedroom set is displayed in one of Bahrain’s service apartments,” said Koh. However, the official said Star did not see currently the need to take part in exhibitions in the Gulf “as we have managed to cover almost all the markets in the region.”

About plans to expand production capacity, Koh responded: “Instead of looking to expand our capacity, we are more interested in expanding our production capability.. It includes incorporating different and unique material into our designs, even to the extent of outsourcing to good supporting industries partners.”

In the Gulf, Star works mainly with retail chains on ODM format as it believes it is the quickest way for it to respond to any market changes.

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