Furniture orders rise
August proved to be prosperous for the furniture industry.
Furniture Insights, a report released by Smith Leonard and written by Ken Smith, reported that new orders for its surveyed residential furniture manufacturers and distributors were up for 60 percent of those surveyed.
“The results of our monthly survey for August 2012 were a bit surprising with new orders up 8 percent over August 2011,” Smith said. “But reviewing the results, just over 60 percent of the participants reported increased orders, and a good number reported double-digit increases. In addition, a good number of those participants with orders declining were only off a few percentage points.”
Shipments also were up in August 2012 compared to the same period a year before. Shipments were up 6 percent over August 2011 and 25 percent over July. Backlogs were up as well over August 2011.
Although Smith will not have industry numbers for October’s High Point Market for a couple months, he said that generally, people are reporting a good market.
“Based on our conversations, we thought the October Market turned out to be pretty good,” Smith said. “Yes, attendance appeared to be down some, but those that were here were the major customers of most exhibitors. As one client said to me ‘This is where real furniture business is done’ and ‘where the real furniture players are.’”
Part of Smith’s report was a survey sent to manufacturers, distributors, suppliers and other industry companies before fall market, getting a feel for how the industry is doing and a look at its future.
The survey found that 70 percent of companies surveyed have seen an increase in sales and revenue in the past year and 76 percent expect to see an increase during the next year. Sixty percent said they have hired new employees during the last 12 months and 50 percent said they plan to in the next 12 months.
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