In 1992, Maciej Formanowicz bought a declining furniture factory in Ostrów Mazowiecka. Over time, on this foundation, we created one of the most modern furniture companies in Europe.
MÖBELVERTRIEB FORTE GmbH was established in Brilon, Germany to take care of FORTE’s customer service in the German market.
We were growing fast, so we needed a second manufacturing plant. The natural step was to purchase Suwałki Furniture Factory in Suwałki.
It was high time to expand the distribution network – we bought 100 percent of shares in the MEBLE POLONIA trading company with its registered office in Wrocław and in FORTE Styl in Brańszczyk.
Some of our team members still recollect the emotions from that 1996, when the shares of FABRYK MEBLI ‘FORTE’ S.A. were first listed on the main floor of the Warsaw Stock Exchange.
We increased our production capacity by a further 24,000 m2, by purchasing part of the shares of Białostockie Fabryki Mebli S.A.
The group of FORTE plants was expanded to include a factory in Hajnówka, in the form of a subsidiary, which was created on the foundations of one of the oldest and largest woodworking plants in the country.
The FORTE BALDAI distribution company was set up in Lithuania.
A new century brings new opportunities. We expanded our business to another country – on the basis of the existing Ukrainian state-owned company ‘Artiemowskmebel’, we created the manufacturing and trading company FORTE UKRAINA.
We decided to enter another market. For this purpose, we created FORTE SK, a company involved in the wholesale of our group’s furniture.
Growing sales markets required an increase in production. Therefore, FURNEL S.A., which used to own manufacturing plants in Hajnówka and Przemyśl, joined our capital group.
That was an important year for the development of our sales network. At that time, three foreign distribution companies in which we hold 100% of shares started their activities, namelyFORTE Furniture Ltd. (Great Britain), handling the British and Irish market, FORTE Mobilier (France), handling the French market and FORTE Iberia (Spain), handling the Spanish and Portuguese market.
We purchased an assets complex in the city of Vladimir, Russia where we created the FORTE RUS Sp. z o.o. furniture factory.
At this stage, we already knew how much benefit a joint effort could bring. Therefore, we merged with Białostockie Fabryki Mebli S.A. and with ‘FURNEL’ S.A.
Further companies, FORTE MÖBEL AG with its registered office in Baar, Switzerland, and KwadratSp. z o.o. with its registered office in Bydgoszcz, joined our capital group.
We decided to initiate another ambitious project. We launched a fully automated line for packing sets of furniture fittings in the FORTE branch in Hajnówka.
That was the year which marked the time for major modernisations of all FORTE branches. It was then that our plants were equipped with machines for the automatic packing, dimensioning and veneering of products.
Another year that was marked by the introduction of new technologies. In Ostrów Mazowiecka, we launched a modern production department named C +, which specialised in the production of small furniture series.
Over time, we needed increasingly larger storage spaces. A modern logistics centre with a high storage warehouse was created at the FORTE plant in Ostrów Mazowiecka.
In order to make it easier for our employees to reconcile work and family life, we opened in Ostrów Mazowiecka a company bilingual nursery school with a crèche facility known as ‘Yellow Elephant’. This enables the youngest members of the FORTE family to be able to spend the day close to their parents.
After 24 years of operation, the time had come for the biggest investment in our company’s history. In 2016, we commenced the construction of a particle board plant in the Suwałki Special Economic Zone.
In 2017, we expanded our operations outside Europe – at that time, we entered into a joint venture agreement with an Indian company called Indian Furniture Products Limited (IFPL), owned by the ADVENTZ capital group. As a result of this initiative, the company FORTE FURNITURE PRODUCTS INDIA (FFPI) was created, to produce and sell furniture to the Asian market.
We opened our own exhibition centre in the German town of Bad Sazuflen, on the premises of the M.O.W. trade fair complex. By creating a year-round furniture exhibition with an area of 4,000 m2, we are even closer to our western business partners and can better present to them our range of products
It was a great day. On 12 April 2018, we celebrated the opening of our particle board factory in the Suwałki Special Economic Zone. In this way, we became the only Polish furniture manufacturer to use its own board in production. This gives us access to the basic raw material and full control over its quality.
The success of the ‘Yellow Elephant’ company nursery school in Ostrów Mazowiecka quickly led to the opening of a second facility. A twin nursery school with room for 150 children was built in Suwałki, where two factories from our capital group operate. Both ‘Yellow Elephants’ are distinguished by their architecture and design, which are adapted to the height and needs of small users. We are pleased that from an early age, children can stay in a well-designed and functional environment, which shapes their sense of aesthetics and sensitises them to beauty.
We opened a new warehouse in Janki to provide our customers with delivery flexibility. The facility increased the storage space of the FORTE Group by 9,600 m2, thereby boosting our shipping capacity by 20,000 parcels per week.
On 18 January, the laboratory at our particle board plant was the first company laboratory in the wood-based products industry to be accredited by the Polish Centre for Accreditation to test formaldehyde emissions using the PN EN 717-1:2006 method. The accreditation confirms the high quality of our team’s expertise in carrying out precise measurements and allows us to perform accredited tests on third-party products.