Outdoor suppliers look to break wicker trend

Garden centres and suppliers are overstocked with wicker furniture, while wood and outdoor leather are yet to make an impact on the "almost boring" market, Alexander Rose sales manager Chris Newman has said.

This year has been tough for outdoor furniture sales, he added. The UK-based company picks up most of its European trade at spoga+ gafa.

Trends for 2012 will continue to be for wicker weave, he predicted. "But customers are putting more wood on the shop floor for next year."

Meanwhile, Dutch garden furniture company Applebee said turnover was up 25 per cent in 2011 with Scandinavian and German markets improving. The company is seeking a UK distributor for its mid-level priced wicker from Indonesia and is introducing outdoor leather.

More than 100 Chinese furniture suppliers were at spoga+gafa, looking to supply direct to retailers or attract UK suppliers, with PJ Bridgeman among those looking for new products.

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