Tough market? Couple gets personal

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Monday, June 9, 2014


AS COMPETITION in the furniture industry continues to tighten because of the entry of cheap products from China, a homegrown furniture maker is adopting another approach to attract clients.

Heritage MueblesMirable Export, Inc. recently announced they will be accepting orders for custom-made or personalized furniture designs from clients.

In an interview during the MiYstilo “My Style” launch, the company’s owners, Charles Lim and Sunshine Lim, said their acceptance of personalized designs would present opportunities in a market that has shown a growing demand for modern designs.

“Everyone now can make their own design...and Heritage can help them with the technical side,” Sunshine said, adding that this will also bring out the creativity of their clients.

The company is the first furniture-maker in Cebu, the owners believe, to accept designs made by the buyers.

Sunshine said that at first, they considered this difficult, especially when it comes to distribution; they have to deliver just a piece or a few pieces of furniture to individual clients. But later, she said, they saw that offering a personalized approach to furniture design is an opportunity the company is willing to explore.

Completion of one furniture piece would take three to seven days, the couple said.

At present, the demand for furniture pieces in the local scene is driven by the growth in real estate. As for heritage, Sunshine said most of their clients come from individual buyers of real estate projects, be it a house or a condominium unit.

Heritage MueblesMirable Export Inc. has been in the furniture-making industry for the past 20 years, with outdoor furniture as its niche. It started out as an exporter of furniture, and its loyal clients come from countries like Australia, Singapore and Saudi Arabia.

Although cheap China-made furniture is also embraced in the market today, Charles said Heritage Muebles is focused on furniture quality, durability and punctuality of delivery.

It maintains its manufacturing facility in Soong, Lapu-Lapu City with roughly 300 workers in total.

Cebu’s furniture industry takes pride in producing 60 percent of the country’s exports, according to Cebu Furniture Industries Foundation, Inc. in its website. It states that the Philippine furniture export industry, with Cebu as the highest contributor, ranks among the top 10 import source countries of the United States.

About 70 percent of the total furniture products of the country are exported to the US, and the remaining 30 percent distributed to the European, Middle Eastern and Asian markets.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on June 10, 2014.

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