'In the stall we displayed only 30 items due to lack of space. We have 20 types of dining chairs, 15 types of beds, 16 types of dining sets and 16 types of wardrobe designs'
Popular furniture brands of the country including Navana, Partex and Hatil have taken part in the National Furniture Fair in Dhaka with a view to attracting customers by showcasing their products and lucrative offers.
The five-day fair was inaugurated at Bashundhara Convention Hall in Dhaka on Tuesday.
Bangladesh Furniture Industry Owners’ Association (BFIOA), in cooperation with Design and Technology Centre, has organized the fair that will run from September 16 to September 21.
A total of 31 local renowned furniture makers are dominating the fair with a wide collection of furniture, various offers with deep discounts.
During visit to the stall of Hatil Fuirniture, it was found decorated with different designs of furniture.
Md Mizanur Rahman, senior officer of Hatil, said: "We have more than 800 types of furniture with diversified designs in our stock. But since we have little space in the fair, we have taken a different approach to let visitors be acquainted with our products. People can see all our products through a cutting-edge technology called System Virtual Showroom with integrated 3d mode.”
"In this virtual showroom, people can also see how to accommodate their furniture in their houses and rooms. They also can choose between different colours and fabrics as they wish," he said.
“In the stall we displayed only 30 items due to lack of space. We have 20 types of dining chairs, 15 types of beds, 16 types of dining sets and 16 types of wardrobe designs,” he added.
Md Mahfujur Rahman, senior zonal manager of Akter Furniture, said: "Our main objective is to boost our brand and communicate with people through this fair. We are receiving good response from visitors with many are showing interest to buy our products."
"We have around 300 designs of furniture, in addition to 178 items of heritage furniture. We also export our products to 17 countries. From January next year, we have a plan to expand our export market," he added.
However, though prominent furniture companies claimed to have good response from customers visiting the fair, small companies and newcomers did not express similar sentiments.
The owner of New Antic Furniture Md Joynal said: "We have been participating in this fair for many years, but this is the first time we did not get any order yet in the first two days.
"Despite our 20% discount offer, we are witnessing fewer customers this year as the fair authorities did not carry out noticeable campaign prior to its launch. But hopefully we will get customers soon," he said.
"In the last year's fair, our turnover was around Tk20 lakh and we hoped more this year," Joynal added.
Meanwhile, fewer customers were seen at the fair ground from morning till 3:00pm. However, the situation started to change in the afternoon and a sizeable number of visitors were seen by the evening.
Most of the participating companies are offering discounts, ranging from 5% to 25%, on their products.
On the opening day of the fair, Bangladesh Furniture Exporters' Association President KM Akhtaruzzaman said: "There was a time when around 65-70% of total furniture was imported to Bangladesh, but now Bangladesh exports furniture."
Export Promotion Bureau Secretary Abu Hena Morshed Zaman said that export growth of furniture was over 18.5% per year.
Jhumu Chowdhury, a visitor from Dhaka Cantonment, said: "I really appreciate the furniture collection of different companies at the same place and I can choose one as per my desire. It is a great relief because there is no need to go to different stores in Dhaka amid traffic gridlock. In a way, the fair is saving my time and money. Besides, companies are giving discounts here."
Like Jhumu Chowdhury, a lot of other visitors came to the National Furniture Fair yesterday, the second day of the fair.