11-10-2020 – Furniture manufacturers struggle to meet demand

Posted on: November 10th, 2020 by admin

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November 10, 2020

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BY GUY LUCAS

 

GUYLUCAS@NEWSTOPICNEWS.COM

 

A survey of residential furniture manufacturers and distributors found that business activity has continued to be strong into the fall, but manufacturers have suffered from shipping problems and manpower short-ages.

 

The latest Furniture Insights report from Smith Leonard, an accounting and consulting firm based in High Point, showed that new orders in August were 51% ahead of August 2019.

 

That followed increases of 30% in June and 39% in July, and “orders were up for some 88% of the participants,” the report said.

 

Initial indications are that demand continued to be strong through September and into October, the report said.

 

And for at least some manufacturers, the cumulative total of orders during the summer more than made up for the initial drop after COVID-19-related business closures in the spring, the report said. Orders for all of 2020 now are up 6% overall from the year-to-date orders at the same point in 2019, but the bulk of that gain is attributable to only 34% of the businesses participating in the survey.

 

The report’s authors noted that many companies are struggling to ramp up either domes-tic or overseas production as well as getting shipping going.

 

“Shipments year to date were down for 85% of the pants,” the report said.

 

As a result of shipping problems, backlogs in August were up 102% from the same period in 2019, “getting into a territory that is not good, and we continue to hear that they have grown even more since August,” the report said.

 

“The number of factory and warehouse employees continues to be an issue, or rather the lack of finding factory and warehouse employees,” the authors noted.

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