What’s new in the furniture world?

Much as I obsess about my own business, Furniture Works, I’m also interested in the furniture business as a whole.  Here’s some more recent news about the industry.

Importing

80% of case goods (chests of drawers, etc.) and 45% of upholstery sold in the US comes from overseas.  Overall, the percentage has increased 2% over 2016 with increases for Canada (1%), Malaysia (6%) and Poland (13%) and decreases for China (-1%), Taiwan (-16%) and India (-18%).  The biggest increase is in upholstered goods.

Ditto, exports from the US have fallen by 2% overall, the biggest has been metal furniture parts (-12%).  The largest change in buyers have been France (up 28%) and the UAR (-28%).  Canada’s imports dwarfs the other countries at $631.9M.

Costs

This fall, costs for constructing furniture have gone up.  Frames, foam & packaging have all gone up 15% which has driven up the prices of upholstery by 2%. It would have had more of an effect on retail prices except that overall sales have not risen by much.

The Players

The “big boys” in the business are Ashley HomeStore (#1 at $3.8B in revenue), Mattress Firm (#2 at $3.4B) and Ikea (#3 at $3.2B).  These are followed by Williams-Sonoma, Rooms to Go, Berkshire Hathaway & RH.  Big Lots, interestingly enough, comes in at #8.

Online?  Yep, it is having its impacts.  Wayfair had $1.2B in sales and was up 41.9% over a year ago.  They are not yet profitable, however.  Amazon has begun selling upholstery with a couple of lines.

And what would you like for Christmas?

61% prefer gift cards & certificates, 55% clothing, 39% books & other media, 33% electronics & 24% home décor & furnishings.  59% will shop online, 57% in department stores, 54% in discount stores & 46% in grocery/supermarkets.

And what’s the future for us?

We’ll continue to bring you the best quality used furniture & reasonably priced new furniture that we can.  Just to add a couple more numbers, there are nearly 500 items available at any time in our 6000 square foot store.