Tuesday, December 20, 2005

China lures overseas furniture producers

INTERNATIONAL furniture makers are heading into China as the country moves to become the world's largest furniture production base and sales market.

Among them, Ashley, the world's second-largest furniture manufacturer, opened its doors recently in Shanghai — the company's first outlet in the Chinese market.

Featuring mass-produced, medium priced goods, the US-based furniture maker said it is set to compete with local companies by targeting the city's middle-class and upscale consumers.

"Compared with European furniture producers, Ashley's prices are lower as much of its furniture is mass-produced in China," said Chen Haibo, deputy general manager of Shanghai Expocasa Furniture Co Ltd, which is Ashley's dealer on China's Mainland.

The dealer used to sell only European furniture that was double the price of Ashley's products.

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