4-1-2021 – Furniture orders keep booming

Posted on: April 1st, 2021 by admin

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April 1, 2021

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By Guy Lucas guylucas@newstopicnews.com

 

Mar 31, 2021

 

A consulting firm that follows the furniture industry keeps expecting the hot growth in furniture orders to cool off, but it hasn’t happened yet.

 

Manufacturers and distributors reported that new furniture orders rose 27% in January compared to January 2020, the same percentage increase as in December and the eighth straight month of orders increasing from the previous year’s level, according to the latest Furniture Insights report from the Smith Leonard firm.

 

More than three-fourths of the companies surveyed by Smith Leonard saw increased orders, “and some are experiencing very large double-digit growth,” the report said.

 

Unfortunately, some months-long problems holding the industry back also have continued: shortages of supplies, particularly foam for upholstery, labor shortages and growing delivery backlogs, CPA Ken Smith wrote in the report.

 

“Most people we talk with say they can never remember business being this good, yet most admit they would have never imagined the challenges that have emerged in the midst of such positive growth,” he wrote.

 

Shipments in January were slightly higher than in January 2019 but actually were down from December, contributing to a 2% increase in backlogged deliveries. The backlogs in January were 177% higher than in January 2019.

 

Because of those backlogs, the increasing prices of supplies continues to hit hard.

 

“In most cases, orders are placed based on current price lists, but by the time the goods can be made and shipped, the prices have gone up,” the report said.

 

Although past predictions of slower growth have fizzled, Smith wrote once again that companies should expect the growth in new furniture orders to slow down.

 

“We do expect business to slow a bit over the next few months. As travel and vacations start to resume, we imagine some of the purchasing power will dry up. We think it will still be positive but just not as robust,” he wrote. “Hopefully, this will allow folks to take a breath and catch up somewhat. In the meantime, enjoy the good business as best you can.”

 

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