Poland has emerged as the largest European exporter of upholstery to the U.K. market in recent years, sending nearly £140 million worth of goods to these shores in 2018, more than £50 million more than arrived here from Italy, the second largest source nation from this continent.
Gala Collezione is one of Poland’s largest sofa producers with four factories in the Kuyavian-Pomeranian region, famous locally for its long tradition of furniture manufacturing. With 700 full-timeemployees, it produces about 150 sets of furniture each and every day.
Privately owned, it has a rich heritage going back to 2001 but is a relatively recent market entrant to the U.K. and Ireland, having made its U.K. and Ireland debut a year ago at Midpoint during the Manchester Furniture Show 2018. It is represented here by highly-respected furniture agent Tim Robinson, an expert in high-class European-made furniture, whose other clients include the German cabinet business Gwinner.
Gala will follow up its launch with a second appearance in a fortnight’s time (July 14–16, 2019) with its introduction last year — where it “dipped its toe in the water” having not previously supplied the British market — helping Mr Robinson arrow in on where the producer can build on its introductory appearance.
"One of Gala's strengths is its vast collection, both in terms of style, from traditional through to contemporary and modern, but also in terms of shapes and features, with both static and motion upholstery and functionality, such as inbuilt storage," says Mr Robinson.
“This year we will concentrate on modular models and the more upmarket pieces in the range, differentiating ourselves from products that you can source from other countries, such as China.”
Its products are available in both leather and fabric. All of the leather used in the production of Gala Collezione furniture comes from verified Brazilian and Italian tanneries, with each piece specially selected and cut by its experienced master cutters using modern computer-controlled machinery.
Soft cover fabrics are supplied by well-known leading Spanish, Italian and Turkish manufacturers, characterised by exceptional durability and low maintenance due to their stain resistant properties. Gala also offers a wide range of fabrics from Aquaclean, which can be wiped clean to remove stains and spills.
While its 2019 show models will be an edited selection of its most U.K. suitable products for the mid-to-upper end of the upholstery market, the depth of its offer will still be evident, with retailers able to choose from dozens of different fabric property types, including weave, texture and thickness, meaning there are several hundred different shades and variations.
Mr Robinson’s hopes are high for the second showing of Midpoint in the North West. "Manchester is becoming increasingly important and the addition of Midpoint last year, in its own dedicated exhibition space where there was a nice and relaxed atmosphere, was a total success.”
It built on the best parts of previous editions of the show, he says, when it was a standalone event.
"People like the city. There are plenty of hotels, restaurants and bars to go to after the show is over, and Midpoint itself, as show within a show, was very well put together last year. I'm sure it will be the same again this month."