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Interview with Managing Director in the Benelux Mark van Betten

Tenzo's strategic shift: embracing change in furniture design

In an exclusive interview with Mark van Betten, the Managing Director overseeing Tenzo's operations in the Benelux, we explored the dynamic evolution of the Swedish furniture manufacturer. Renowned initially for its lacquered MDF furniture designed for self-assembly, Tenzo has strategically broadened its product range and market approach.

As an integral part of the family-owned Gunnar Johansson Group, Tenzo operates its manufacturing facility in Smålandsstenar, nestled within Sweden's Gnosjö region. Responsible for the development, production, and distribution of furniture, Tenzo caters to a diverse international market, exporting 95% of its products to major retailers across Europe, notably in France, Germany, Switzerland, Benelux, and Scandinavia.

Mark van Betten standing next to the Bali dresser at Brussels Furniture Fair

Market dynamics
Mark, who has been with the company for 25 years, sheds light on Tenzo's recent strategic moves, focusing on the shift towards assembled furniture, reflecting changing consumer demands in the Benelux. This progressive approach involves producing and assembling the knock-down furniture in Sweden before dispatching it to customers, an initiative to meet evolving market expectations. ‘Clients no longer want knock-down furniture. So the new collection we introduced at Brussels Furniture Fair also offers the option of being delivered assembled. This decision was quite significant, because this has been a wish from clients for a while,’ Mark says.

Another market trend Mark identified is wooden furniture: ‘We mostly produce lacquered furniture, especially on MDF. In Scandinavia this is often paired with white oak. We’ve done this a lot, but now we're observing a gradual shift away from this Scandinavian aesthetic towards more wooden or single-colour contemporary pieces.’ This is also seen in the Bali dresser, featured in the photograph above.

The Parma collection
Tenzo's recent unveiling of the Parma collection, featuring a monochromatic, contemporary design, also received acclaim at the Brussels Furniture Fair. ‘The collection was very well-received. It was our first time in Brussels and it was a highly successful fair. We're going again next year,’ Mark says. The Parma collection features unicoloured legs and doors, ensuring a modern, cohesive appearance. The absence of handles, metal legs and rounded edges add to the clean look. Inspired by modern living, the new line solidifies Tenzo's commitment to versatile furniture design.

The Parma collection at Brussels Furniture Fair

Future plans
Looking ahead to 2024, Tenzo anticipates showcasing its new line at trade shows such as Ambiente and the Brussels Furniture Fair. Additionally, they plan an exclusive in-house fair in Sweden, providing a behind-the-scenes look at their 1500m2 showroom and engaging customers with product development experts.

More information:
Tenzo AB
Stålgatan 4
SE-333 33 Smålandsstenar
[email protected]

Tenzo BV
Wilhelminalaan 2
5707 BV Helmond
The Netherlands

Mark van Betten
[email protected]