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Design represents a key industry for the Italian market: with 70,000 companies, more than 290,000 direct and indirect employees and an average income of €49 Billion (4.7% of the national GDP), Italy is the first country in Europe and the second worldwide.

The popularity of Italian consumer goods is recognised worldwide and the Country’s economy relies heavily on this industry. In particular, the furniture and design segments are the main focus for our trade office, as Italy represents a springboard for the internationalisation of business of all companies willing to expand globally.

Every spring, the city of Milan hosts its Design Week, with the world’s biggest fair for furniture - the Salone del Mobile - and a big number of parallel exhibiting events taking place throughout the city known as FuoriSalone.

Like the rest of the Italian manufacturing ecosystem, the design industry has a concentration of production clusters in specific areas. These districts, which were set-up in the post-World War II’s economic boom, have survived a number of global crises, and still keep their uniqueness and business thanks to the ongoing innovation and attention to the evolvement of consumers’ needs.

Over the past years, the design industry has increasingly acquired a key role in helping companies across sectors to broaden their perspective with deep implications for all entrepreneurs: from the choice of raw materials to the redefinition of supply chains and the post-consumer phase.

Post-Covid, thanks to the sudden focus on the home environment, the production of furniture products in Italy has been steadily increasing, with living/dining room furniture accounting for almost a third of the Italian market, followed by bedroom furniture, office furniture and kitchen furniture. As per every other sector, the sales channel in the furniture industry is also evolving as a result of the increasing market share of e-commerce, the disruption of supply chains and the introduction of new value creation systems. However, the most significant effect is that the fusion of living and working spaces has shifted market dynamics and has already redefined the home, giving it an even more central role, where consumers seek to surround themselves with higher levels of comfort, functionality and flexibility. Outdoor furniture is another emerging category, not yet fully matured, which offers great opportunities for brands to innovate.

If you are interested in learning more about the opportunities in Italy for your company, you can reach out to Vanessa Lista, our Senior Advisor for Design. Vanessa has 15 years of experience in the Consumer, Retail and Luxury industry – both in the private and public sector – with a specific work on internationalisation, public affairs, market analysis and business development.