Despite the tense economic situation, global demand for kitchens and furniture remains at a high level. Speaking of developments in the sector, Philipp Blum, managing director of Julius Blum GmbH, states that "the trend of homing, living and furniture was very popular with consumers last year too. The demand for furniture accessories it has reached a high and stable level ".
Given the exceptional situations that have occurred worldwide, such as the pandemic and the war in Ukraine, which have led to the increase in the prices of raw materials and transport costs, it is however necessary to evaluate the results in a different way. "The increase in our sales this year is partly based on the increase in volumes and partly on the increase in prices, which we inevitably had to adjust due to the additional costs," said Philipp Blum.
Investments of the Blum Group
The Blum Group has invested a total of 339 million euros for the previous financial year: it has strengthened its headquarters in Vorarlberg, completed the new Shanghai plant and, starting from 2023, it will also have access to additional production spaces at the branch in Poland.
For CEO Martin Blum, one of the most important investments is in specialized personnel. "With 400 apprentices worldwide, 363 of which in Vorarlberg, and the continuous training of our employees, we are trying to tackle the shortage of specialized personnel". Motivated, committed and skilled employees are one of the main success factors for Blum. The family-run company has hired 644 new collaborators and collaborators; over 9,422 employees work daily for Blum worldwide, of which 6,981 in Austria.
Blum innovations present at EuroCucina
EuroCucina, held in Milan in June, highlighted the latest design trends. There are many innovative Blum products on customer stands.
These include Revego, the pocket system that offers flexible use of space and the possibility of customization for the kitchen, home office or closet. Also present is the Merivobox drawer system: with just a few components, this platform allows multiple variants of drawers with uniform processing and assembly. As for the flap door systems, the company is about to launch the new Aventos top family with numerous new functions and the integrated Aventos HKi accessory solution for designer furniture.
Sustainability and energy security
On the part of the Blum Group, the commitment to sustainability is long-term. “Regardless of the current gas situation, we have been using sustainable alternatives for years, such as electricity from hydroelectric sources, district heating in our Dornbirn factories, heat recovery in production and photovoltaic systems,” explains Martin Blum. “Over 1,800 m2 of solar thermal panels have been installed in Vorarlberg alone. In addition, about half of the truck fleet for company transport at the Vorarlberg plants runs on domestic biogas and is therefore almost neutral in terms of CO2 emissions ”.