Furniture makers target tourists

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Tourists have driven right by many of Norway’s furniture factories based in mountain towns. Now the furniture makers are taking steps to get the tourists to stop for a visit, and possibly do some shopping as well.

The city of Sykkelven, for example, in the mountainous county of Møre og Romsdal, is an industry hub and home to Ekornes, the largest furniture maker in the Nordic countries and famed for its “Stressless” chairs. Ekornes officials hope tourists would like to see how they’re made.

“Sykkelven probably hasn’t been clever enough to exploit its potential for industrial tourism,” Ole Bjørn Roald of Ekornes told newspaper Aftenposten recently. He has shown customers, dealers and agents around the factory for years. Tourists make up a potentially lucrative market as well.

A newly started firm called “Furniture Guiding” also is working with additional factories including Hjelle, Brunstad and Formfin.  All told, Norway’s furniture industry includes around 500 companies which last year produced furniture worth NOK 14 billion.

Views and News staff