Chinese Highlighter Panels Losing Charm Due to Crowded and Competitive Offerings

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The market sentiment for ‘cheap and imported highlighters’ is getting weak due to huge flow of designer panels and lack of exclusivity. There are many new players and importers who are now offering designer panels in Mumbai, Delhi and even in other metros that has led to a reduction on margins. The prices offered by importers are much lesser compared to that of a year ago due to rise in number of suppliers. “The highlighter panels of similar materials and designs have become a common choice for each new display showroom hence at the end. “It offers similar concept and similar look,” this is a common statement being made by showroom owners. The showrooms of metro cities are showing desperation to differentiate themselves from new showrooms which are bringing same materials. That is why the leading showroom players are giving lesser wall space to such highlighter panels. The common reply is “because of very common designs and same pricing everywhere the choice of exclusiveness is not there” and display of China range is common with every retailer, hence designer community is drifting from it.

In a survey conducted at showrooms in 7 cities like ‘Mumbai, Surat, Pune, Hyderabad, Bangalore, Kokata and Delhi’ the choice of wall panels has been overtaken by decorative veneers and exclusive materials. The emergence of various PVC mica manufacturing units and reduction in decorative veneer prices has directly impacted the exclusivity factor in showrooms. Lack of exclusivity and personalize design choices through CNC application is re positioning trend of decorative veneers, routed MDF, exclusive HPL, branded acrylic sheets and solid surface materials in the showrooms. Majority of retailers expressed that margin matters for running a showrooms and wood veneer are the most suitable item in that way.

The survey conducted by Ply Reporter found that “High-quality surface material from India based company or a ‘quality & design’ driven company’ will go a long way compared to cheap offerings. The highlighter panels e.g PVC, Charcoal, blocks, Leathered finish sheets etc which imports have grown during last year might witness less demand from metro and developed cities. It is felt that in coming time only quality materials will have its presence in key markets and the rest of materials will be a choice for tier 3 cities and smaller towns. The rise in application of Natural decorative veneers and its display importance in showrooms is visible in the market which indicate a different scenario after a year.

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