New furniture hub in Singapore to support industry’s growth

The Singapore Furniture Industries Council has today announced a new furniture hub in Sungei Kadut, which will cluster furniture companies in a single space to foster greater collaboration and resource-sharing.

The JTC Furniture HUB@Sungei Kadut, when completed in 2018, will co-locate trade, manufacturing, interior fit-out design, distribution and material suppliers within one location. A Furniture & Furnishings Experience Centre will also feature a trade showroom, a training institute, design studios as well as an e-commerce centre to enable companies to experiment with new online business models. 

The initiative, signed between JTC and the SFIC, is part of the SFIC’s efforts to support the growth of Singapore’s furniture sector.

“For the furniture sector to remain competitive and able to take advantage of future opportunities, our companies must look ahead and capitalise on the long-term trends,” said Lim Hng Kiang, Singapore’s minister for trade and industry at the opening ceremony of the International Furniture Fair Singapore (IFFS). 

The Council unveiled a 3-year roadmap earlier this year to help stakeholders develop capabilities and talent to meet future market needs. The blueprint addresses productivity, labour shortage and improving value through design and innovation.

“There will be the ‘ubers of the industry’ which will disrupt business, but there shouldn’t be any fear because there is a plan for us 10 years from now,” said Ernie Koh, president of the SFIC.

While Singapore’s furniture sector grew a healthy 7.4% between 2012 and 2015, generating some S$6.25 billion in sales as of last year, new technologies—such as 3D printing—have threatened to displace the design, manufacture and distribution of furniture in the supply chain.

However Asia’s urbanisation and a more affluent middle class is expected to account for 80% of growth in global spending up till 2030. Consumer spending in China is also expected to double to US$6.5 trillion by 2020, according to a Boston Consulting Group report. 

Said Mr Lim, “These structural trends will have a far-reaching impact on the furniture industry both within Singapore and globally. It is important that our companies look ahead and capitalise on some of these long-term trends.”

 

Image: Kenny Koh, Vice President SFIC (left) and Leong Hong Yew, Director for Food & Lifestyle Cluster, JTC Corporation, sign a Memorandum of Understanding for the new JTC Furniture HUB@Sungei Kadut