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Interview with Semih Kavaklioglu, CEO of Decortie:

'Due to lower operating costs compared to traditional sales channels, online shopping provides a price benefit'

The Turkish company Decortie, founded in 2009 by industry veterans Nihan Yilmaz, Semih Kavaklioglu, Ferhat Turan, and Ali Aydin, embarked on a mission to create high-quality, well-designed flat-pack solutions for home furniture. Their goal was to cater to the growing online market by selling to online channels. Over the years, Decortie has expanded its footprint to over 45 countries, becoming a notable player in the global industry. We talk with CEO and co-founder Semih Kavaklioglu to learn more about the brand's participation at the Manchester Furniture Show, selling to online channels and the current market conditions.

Semih Kavaklioglu, CEO of Decortie.

What was the inspiration for starting the company?
'Decortie was founded in 2009 by four partners with experience in the furniture industry: Nihan Yilmaz (Head of Design), Semih Kavaklioglu (CEO), Ferhat Turan (Head of Production) and Ali Aydin (CFO). The company's mission was to produce high-quality, well-designed, and flat-pack home furniture that could be sold through online channels and DIY stores. Today, Decortie continues to pursue this mission with the same dedication.'

You've been focused on e-commerce since starting the company. What are the advantages and disadvantages of selling to e-commerce in comparison to retailers?
'In online channels, product categories that can be effectively showcased through visuals tend to perform much better. Generally, the greatest advantage of online channels is that they offer an experience where customers can apply numerous filters and view a much wider range of options simultaneously. Additionally, due to lower operating costs compared to traditional sales channels, online shopping often provides a price benefit. As for the disadvantages of online channels, we can highlight the higher potential for customer disappointment and dissatisfaction when product and packaging quality are insufficient.'

You're active in multiple countries. What are your main markets?
'Currently, we are actively engaged in sales operations in over 45 countries. Our strongest markets are the United Kingdom, France, Spain, and Italy. Additionally, our sales in the United States are experiencing significant growth.'

How are the market conditions at the moment?
'In 2024, we are observing a slowdown in demand due to concerns about rising living costs and financial income expectations. However, we anticipate an increase in demand as interest rates and overall inflation rates in various countries begin to decline.'

Do you see a lot of differences between these markets, in customer preferences for instance?
'Customer expectations for design and pricing vary from country to country. Generally, our design aesthetic is better suited to the European market. However, the simplicity and clean lines of our designs resonate with customers globally, from Libya to the United States, and from the United States to Greece. Demand for different types and sizes of products varies significantly depending on the typical square meter size of homes in each country.'

The Decortie team.

Soon you'll be at the Manchester Furniture Show. What will you be showcasing at the fair?
'For the Manchester Furniture Show, we will showcase some of our best-selling products from our portfolio, which we are confident will be appreciated for their design. We will present a range of complementary home furniture items, including console tables, TV stands, bookshelves, and coffee tables, which are suitable for any home.'

What are your expectations of the fair?
'At the Manchester Furniture Show, we hope to meet and establish collaboration opportunities with chain stores that we haven't previously had the chance to connect with or display our products to. We believe that our production facility, which complies with BCSI and Sedex certifications, combined with our design strength and experience in meeting the needs of large clients, will resonate well with potential partners.

We believe that the fair presents a very important opportunity for us. With our production unit adhering to the latest certifications, our expertise in design, our know-how in working with online and chain channels, and our extensive product range, we are confident that we will succeed. We aim to become one of the best companies worldwide focused on this sector.'

Decortie will be at the Manchester Furniture Show, from July 10-11, at stand D40.

More information:
OSB Mevkii Mavi Cad.
No: 47/1 Balıklıçeşme, 17200
Çanakkale, Turkey
[email protected]