Running as a family business since the mid 1980s, Christchurch-based Montreux Furniture provides New Zealand made furniture with a massive focus on quality and long-lasting products. The business offers a large range of goods like sofas, chairs, dining furniture and outdoor furniture.
Andrew Hopping, who works in Sales & Marketing, says that manufacturing high grade, timeless products is an essential standard for the business. He adds that having a local base gives him the flexibility he needs to customize products for different people.
“Doing it all here allows us to bespoke it or adjust the sizing. It’s just like tailoring a suit for someone. Everybody in New Zealand is a different shape and size, so this way people can get what they want to fit their lifestyle.”
The marketplace and future issues
Hopping states that there is constant market change to grapple with. Approximately 80% of sales are to interior designers and furniture retailers for residential projects. The other 20% consists of commercial developments, including selling to places like hotels, restaurants, and golf resorts.
He says Montreux Furniture’s quality aspect gives them a bit of a niche, as imported furniture is very expensive if it’s at the same quality standard. Hopping believes a lot of New Zealanders are now more thoughtful around their purchases, and more people are likely to buy locally-made, high grade products than lower quality goods from overseas.
“The quality aspect waters down the dollar factor of it. The biggest thing in New Zealand is I think people are taking more time to make decisions now, and people then pay more for a New Zealand made, quality product than for a pretty averagely made imported product.”
Hopping admits there will be production issues going forward, as his products won’t be able to be built by machines, and taking on new staff means crucial time has to be allocated for training rather than manufacturing.
Being NZ made and passionate
Being a New Zealand made business has some advantages for Montreux Furniture. In addition to allowing for customization options, Hopping says that manufacturing in NZ lets him deliver on demand for uniqueness and environmentally-friendly products.
“Everyone’s trying to be a wee bit unique. Everyone’s grabbing the environmental aspect of it [the products]. As a New Zealand manufacturer, you can deliver on that. You’re building it from the ground up and the net result is a quality product right through…”
Hopping stresses that people in his industry need to be driven and passionate, and that starting up a furniture manufacturing business simply because it seems like a decent idea isn’t going to work.
“You can’t set up a furniture manufacturing company because you think it’s a good idea to make furniture. You’ve got to have the passion, no matter what you do.”