Furniture & Home Furnishings Wholesalers

Industry Profile Report

Dive Deep into the industry with a 25+ page industry report (pdf format) including the following chapters

Industry Overview Current Conditions, Industry Structure, How Firms Operate, Industry Trends, Credit Underwriting & Risks, and Industry Forecast.

Call Preparation Call Prep Questions, Industry Terms, and Weblinks.

Financial Insights Working Capital, Capital Financing, Business Valuation, and Financial Benchmarks.

Industry Profile Excerpts

Industry Overview

The 10,200 furniture and home furnishings wholesalers in the US resell furniture and home furnishings to retailers, builders, and other commercial customers. Major product categories include flooring and floor coverings; office and business furniture; household and lawn furniture; and linens, domestics, curtains, and draperies. Most companies are small, independent operators that serve a local market.

Dependence On Housing And Construction

The furniture and home furnishings wholesale industry is highly dependent on downstream demand from the housing and construction markets, which is influenced by economic factors.

Competition From Alternative Sources

Furniture and home furnishings wholesalers face competition from a variety of alternative sources, including manufacturers, retailers, importers, distributors, and other channels which allow customers to buy direct.

Industry size & Structure

The average furniture and home furnishings wholesaler operates out of a single location, employs about 10 workers, and generates $8-9 million in annual revenue.

    • The furniture and home furnishings wholesale industry consists of about 10,200 companies that employ 109,400 workers and generate about $87 billion annually.
    • The industry is fragmented; the top 50 companies account for 31% of industry revenue.
    • Most companies are small, independent operators that serve a local market. Large companies include Arc International North America (US subsidiary of ARC International SA - glassware and tableware distributor), Creative Office Interiors, and Building Plastics, Inc. (floor coverings).
    • Some large furniture and home furnishings manufacturers are vertically-integrated and operate wholesale distribution warehouses that sell direct to commercial customers.
                                    Industry Forecast
                                    Furniture & Home Furnishings Wholesalers Industry Growth
                                    Source: Vertical IQ and Inforum

                                    Recent Developments

                                    May 12, 2023 - Sales Dip for Furniture Stores
                                    • Sales for furniture and home furnishings stores decreased nearly 2% unadjusted year over year and about 1% month over month seasonally adjusted in March 2023, according to data released by the National Retail Federation. Overall retail sales were up 2.9% in March 2023 over a year ago but down 1% from February 2023, according to the US Census Bureau. NRF’s retail sales calculation, which excludes car dealers, gas stations, and restaurants, showed an increase of 4.6% unadjusted year over year and down 0.5% month over month in March 2023. According to NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay, “Retail sales moderated in March after posting strong gains in the first two months of the year. Continued easing of inflation and the overall strength of the job market and wages are keeping the fundamentals of the consumer economy strong and should support their ability to spend on household priorities through 2023.”
                                    • Construction and building of new warehouses and fulfillment centers have dipped following turbulent economic conditions and rising interest rates, according to Interact Analysis’s Warehouse Building Stock Database research reported in Modern Materials Handling. About 6,700 warehouses are expected to be added to the global building stock in 2023, 35% less than in 2022 but still higher than pre-pandemic levels. About 4,000 fulfillment centers were added to the global building stock in 2022, while about 2,000 fulfillment centers are forecast for 2023. Amazon doubled its fulfillment capacity between 2020 and 2021 but lowered its micro-fulfillment spending to adapt to the current environment. Companies are expected to focus on automating their existing assets instead of investing in new projects.
                                    • An industry survey found that furniture inventory levels were up 20% in January 2023 compared to a year ago, while down from December 2022, according to FreightWaves. The high inventory levels are the lingering results of the supply chain crisis during the pandemic when consumer demand for furniture and home furnishings exploded. While trying to meet demand, the furniture industry endured soaring freight rates and higher material and labor costs. In 2022, demand began to wane due to inflationary pressures, leaving furniture brands with excess inventory. The extra inventory is also challenging to sell since shoppers want to see new products rather than older stock. According to furniture analyst Jerry Epperson, “I thought we’d be pretty well through [the inventory] by the end of 2022. But we are not. It’s still a significant problem.”
                                    • The National Retail Federation (NRF) is projecting US retail sales growth of 4% to 6% in 2023, climbing to $5.13 trillion to $5.23 trillion. In 2022, retail sales grew by 7% to $4.9 trillion. The non-store and online sales segment is expected to grow by 10% to 12% in 2023 to a range of $1.41 trillion to $1.43 trillion. Much of the growth is driven by multichannel sales, which uses the physical store as part of the fulfillment process. Brick-and-mortar stores remain the primary point of purchase for consumers, accounting for some 70% of total retail sales. According to NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay, “In just the last three years, the retail industry has experienced growth that would normally take almost a decade by pre-pandemic standards. While we expect growth to moderate in the year ahead, it will remain positive as retail sales stabilize to more historical levels.”
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