The market leader in the premium mattress segment in the Middle East plans to start a new facility and launch advanced products to retain its lead position
Dubai Furniture Manufacturing Co LLC (DFMC), manufacturer of the King Koil and Serta range of mattresses, is in the process of establishing a new manufacturing facility in Riyadh to cater to the growing demand for its products in the Saudi market besides countering competition and gaining more market share in the kingdom.
“Our focus is to start the factory within a couple of months and also to introduce new technologically advanced products in all the markets to maintain the lead,” says DFMC CEO S Sundar Rajan.
The company also plans to open a new Serta company showroom in Al Khobar, close on the heels of opening another one in Riyadh recently.
“Saudi Arabia is certainly an important market for our export business particularly for the retail business and the new factory will cater to the increasing demand for King Koil and Serta range of products,” he says.
The company has been manufacturing King Koil branded products since 1993 and the Serta range of products from 2001. Since the launch of both the brands DFMC has been gaining ground and currently has more than 60 per cent market share in the premium segment of the mattress industry in the Middle East market, he says.
DFMC already has a state-of-the-art manufacturing facility in Dubai to cater to the Middle East market and it has also established a factory in India to meet the growing demand of the Indian market.
“Currently our production capacity in Dubai is 1,000 mattresses per day for both brands put together which has increased by 15 per cent compared to last year,” he says.
The export business constitutes 60 per cent of DFMC’s total business as it exports to all GCC markets apart from Egypt, Tanzania, Kenya and Ethiopia. Last year, Saudi Arabia was in No 1 position for the export sales followed by Egypt and Kuwait, but in the year 2014 Egypt was in No 1 position closely followed by Saudi Arabia and Kuwait, he continues.
The export markets have been growing every year and contributing to the overall growth of DFMC, says Sundar Rajan. In the year 2015, the export markets grew at 30 per cent whereas in 2014 the growth was only 27 per cent. DFMC has company showrooms in Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Bahrain, and Oman apart from a dominating presence in the dealer segment.
The export business for both the brands is almost the same though it may fluctuate depending on the market. In the export market, King Koil sales are more in the retail segment as compared to Serta, which is dominating the hospitality segment.
Referring to sales, he says: “In the first half of 2016 sales were not to our satisfaction as we have grown only by 15 per cent though it is much better than our competitors as some of them have registered decline in sales compared to last year. We are faced with the challenge to register at least 25 per cent growth in the second half of this year to achieve a reasonable overall growth of at least 20 per cent.”
To a question about which product is the most popular, he says the range in King Koil is very huge as the company manufactures more than 1,000 stock keeping units (SKUs). “We have the Star Collection, Silk Collection, Classic Collection and the latest introduction, iMattress Collection. All these collections are doing well but the iMattress Collection is selling much better now since it has the latest technology.
However, we cannot come to the conclusion that one mattress collection is superior to the other since all of them have its own unique features which are liked by the customers. Hence, the sales of each of the collections keep fluctuating, but retaining the overall sales numbers is what counts.”
“Even in Serta, our range consists of more than 1,000 SKUs and we have the Royal Collection, Sertapedic Collection, iCollection, Perfect Relief Collection, Eco Response Collection, Perfect Sleeper Collection, iSeries Collection and Graphinex Collection. All the product collections in the Serta are doing extremely well but the Graphinex series being new to the market is doing better,” he adds.