Brazil’s Low-End Furniture Maker Eyes Foreign Market

Móveis WW , based in the small city of São Geraldo (southeastern Brazilian state of Minas Gerais), started out in the 1950s as a small manufacturer of carts, barrels of cachaça (a traditional alcoholic beverage made of sugar cane), chariots, and other items typical of the time.

When the company was already run by 'Didi' (the nickname of Nadir Correa Lopes, the founder's son), of the second generation of the owning family, customers started ordering tables and beds. The transition from one production to the other was natural.

Currently, Móveis WW is run by the family's third generation, has 180 employees and two factory units – one for dining rooms and another for bedrooms only -, distributes its pieces to nearly all of Brazil and intends to go further: they are looking at exporting to African and Arab countries.

This year, according to administrative manager Luiz Carlos de Amaral Júnior, the company took the first step toward its new goal. Since August, it has been exporting to Angola. "We have joined a consortium with ten other local companies in order to export to them," says Amaral.

Exporting turned out more rewarding than the company had expected, after so many years in operation. "We realized there were much less concerns involved than we thought. It is well worth it," claims the manager.

"In the future, we are even considering unifying the two existing plants and establishing a new one, turned to exports alone." Anything goes in order to make the dream. According to Amaral, all employees at Móveis WW are currently taking English lessons.

International trade shows have also become an issue for the company owners, brothers Walmir and Wilmar Rocha Lopes. "Up until now, we have only been to one trade show in South Africa, via a representative," says Amaral.

Also this year, WW participated in a bidding process for the reconstruction of Iraq. The company developed a new product: school desks. But according to Amaral, the deal did not go through. "Anyway, we discovered one more product, school desks, which we may produce in the future."

The furniture produced by Móveis WW is made out of MDF (Medium Density Fiberboard) and sold both to small stores and large low-end furniture chains, such as Kolumbus and Marabraz.

The company's monthly output is 1,870 dining rooms and 1,760 bedrooms. Revenue varies from 1.5 million reais (US$ 670,000) to 2 million reais (US$ 930,000) per month.

Revenues are expected to grow between 5% and 10% in 2007. "Furthermore, should our plans materialize, 30% of our revenues will come from exports alone," says Amaral. Even if it entails creating one or two more work shifts.

Móveis WW
Telephone: (+55 32) 3556-1145
Website:
www.moveisww.com.br

Anba – www.anba.com.br

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