Get Ahead in This Competitive Market with This Office Furniture in Greece Report

Research and Markets

Laura Wood, Senior Manager

U.S. Fax: 646-607-1907

Fax (outside U.S.): +353-1-481-1716

Research and Markets ( has announced the addition of ICAP Group's new report "Office Furniture in Greece 2008" to their offering.

This study considers the office furniture sector (offices, chairs, cabinets-bookcases-pedestals, partitions). However, office partitions made with dry wall systems (gypsum boards), as well as school chairs, are not assessed in this particular study.

The office furniture market is a rather competitive one. Sector companies, in order to meet the increased needs of modern office spaces, sell products which are constantly changing and improving from an aesthetic and technological point of view, providing new solutions every time.

Imported products are increasing in relation to domestically-produced ones. The office furniture sectors key characteristic is the existence of a great amount of small and medium-sized companies and relatively few large companies which, however, are the ones dominating the market. This creates a highly competitive situation in which big sector companies are striving to change and innovate all the time, in order to maintain or expand their market share.

The increase in imported furniture is rather evident in the category of office chairs, which entail a much higher labor cost and in which countries with a low labor cost have an advantage. As for office partitions, they are frequently used and can be combined with other office furniture according to the users demands, offering an easy solution that can have multiple uses.

Key Topics Covered:

1. Summary

1.1 Demand

1.2 Supply

1.3 The Market

2. Sector Companies and Analysis of their Financial Data

2.1 Sales of Office Furniture Manufacturers

2.2 Financial Analysis of Manufacturers

2.3 Sales of Importers

2.4 Financial Analysis of Importers

3. Conclusions and Prospects for the Sector

Products Mentioned:

-- Desks

-- Office chairs

-- Seminar-collaboration chairs

-- Working chairs

-- Armchairs

-- Waiting room sofas

-- Movie-theatre seats

-- Amphitheater seats

How to take care of your outdoor furniture?

Taking care of outdoor furniture as days get colder and wetter can be an easy task.

Haul all the pieces inside to that spot where they can avoid the onslaught of ice and cold.

But furniture dealers and makers, as well as professional organizers, know having an indoor home for that 6-foot-long, stone-top table or cast-aluminum chaise is not likely to happen.

Proper care is going to involve some time, effort and even wisdom in choosing the place.

"For this area, cast aluminum is just about the best stuff you can buy," says Marcie Buckiso from the Fireplace & Patioplace in Mt. Lebanon. "It never rusts, it has a fantastic paint surface and it has some weight to it so it doesn't blow around."

She says a four-piece table and chairs might cost about $1,599, but could be a long-lasting, cost-effective purchase.

Indoor storage would be the most-effective solution, but it is one few people have. Meredith Shuster, owner of a professional organizing firm in Wexford, Within Reach Solutions, suggests it could be worthwhile for several neighbors to jointly rent a storage unit to take care of that.

But whether it is cast aluminum, its tubular cousin, wicker, teak, stone or steel, care requires specifically aimed plans.

A flood of problems

Water always is an issue -- outside, on top or even inside furniture.

Debbie Rushin, co-owner of Cheswick Pools & Patios, says it is important to keep tubular furniture in its normal upright position to take advantage of drain holes.

Water is likely to get into the tubes because they are not firmly sealed, but drain holes allow it to escape. If the furniture is stored on its edge or upside down, or chairs stacked on top of the table, that water can be trapped, freeze and cause the tubes to "burst like a pipe," she says.

While cast aluminum is strong and can fight off most weather woes, it does have microscopic pores that can admit small amounts of water, says Fred Ilse, president of the North Carolina-based Outdoor Lifestyle furniture company. If that surface is not painted or sealed in some other way, that moisture can freeze and cause the tubes to swell, ruining the surface.

He and Buckiso strongly recommend caring for cast aluminum furniture with metal paint to keep up the appearance -- and keep the pores sealed.

Water can create a different kind of problem with cushions.

Buckiso says cushions will absorb some moisture even if they don't seem wet. If they are put away in some seemingly protective covering, mildew can set in.

"When you go to get them in the spring, you could have a real mess," she says.

But organizer Shuster and retailer Rushin point out the importance of using water -- for cleaning -- on those cushions before they are stacked in a ventilated area.

Shuster suggests a cleanser of a half-cup of non-chlorinated bleach mixed with five gallons of water. She suggests then topping that with a commercial material protectant.

Linseed oil also is a good cleaning tool, she says, particularly for rattan wicker furniture, but she warns that it is an oil and flammable. Any cloths with linseed on them should be heavily rinsed and then wrapped to avoid contact with anything else.

Water also plays a big role with stone-top tables. Water can seep through small cracks, freeze and cause bigger cracks, just as it does on highways, Ilse says. He and Rushin say few people are going to carry their table indoors because they can weigh 250 pounds and few homes have the space for them.

So the best thing to do is clean them and cover them, but make sure to put 2- by 4-inch pieces of wood under the cover to allow air flow and get that moisture to dry before it freezes.

But the key to stone-top tables is sealing the surface once a year.

That process can only take an hour or so, they say, but sometimes requires a good two-day stretch, one to do the work and another to let the surface cure.

"Sometimes you have to wait for a good weekend forecast," Ilse says.

Other forms of care

Like materials and pieces require similar approaches.

Shuster says umbrellas demand a treatment much like that for cushions: cleaning, perhaps with trisodium phosphate, taking them to what Ilse call's a "bone dry" state, then folding and storing in a ventilated area to eliminate the chance of mildew.

Steel furniture is like stone-top in its weight and size, Buckiso says, so generally does not come inside. The best thing is to clean the surfaces, sand rough spots, paint with an outdoor paint and cover.

Covers naturally have a vital role.

Rushin suggests high-grade vinyl is the best because it is waterproof, but she points to the air-flow issue Ilse discusses.

Microfibers are very good, and breathable, but if snow and ice sit on them, they can let water seep through.

Buckiso suggests a "material quality" covering, which is cloth-like and synthetic, is better. She points to one that is waterproof, breathable and machine-washable, selling for about $30 for a chair and $77 for a sofa.

The easy way out

One way to handle cold-weather care for outdoor furniture is to avoid it entirely.

That is possible with some materials.

"If you are lazy like me, teak is the ultimate furniture material," says Jennifer Mulholland, director of sales and marketing for Rockwood Casual Furniture in Toronto, Canada.

Bill Reese, owner of Creekside Landscape Supply in Greensburg, says that is exactly why he carries only a line of furniture made from recycled milk jugs.

"We had to find this product at the urging of the consumers," he says.

Mulholland says the best way to handle teak is to "do nothing. It has been used on boats for hundreds of years, and sailors have come to recognize is stands up to weather, cold, salt water, sunlight, everything."

Of course, one issue that must be considered is that weathered teak turns gray, she says. If that is not wanted, it should be washed off and treated with a teak sealant, which she calls "suntan lotion."

So a little work might be necessary.

Marcie Buckiso from Fireplace & Patioplace in Mt. Lebanon agrees with Mulholland about the strength of teak, but they both point out only good teak is that strong. They both warn against lower-quality wood that will not stand up to weather. Going for good quality can have a price connected to it, Buckiso says. A four-chair dining set in the top of the line could cost $5,000, she says.

That is not a problem with the man-made items at Creekside, and that is another reason for its popularity. An Adirondack chair would cost $277, Reese says, but will be easy to care for.

"You don't even have to cover it," he says. "When the spring comes, wipe it off and you are ready to go."