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 $10-12 million in annual revenue.

    • The furniture and home furnishings wholesale industry consists of about 10,200 companies that employ 117,200 workers and generate about $125 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

                                    Mar 25, 2024 - Employment Down, Labor Costs Rise
                                    • Employment by furniture and home furnishings wholesalers fell in late 2023 while wages increased, according to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Employment fell by 6.3% in December 2023 compared to a year ago, and wages rose by 2.1%, reaching an average hourly wage of $25.85. Producer prices for furniture and home furnishings wholesalers grew 2.1% in December 2023 compared to the year prior, per the BLS. Inventories for furniture and home furnishings wholesalers fell 16.3% in September 2023 compared to a year ago, according to Census Bureau data.
                                    • Home remodeling spending, which fuels demand for the furniture industry, is expected to decline in 2024 for the first time since 2010, according to a recent Leading Indicator of Remodeling Activity (LIRA) report released by the Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard. Homeowner improvement and repair spending is expected to fall from $481 billion in 2023 to $450 billion in 2024. Looking ahead, the report projects that spending will worsen through the third quarter of 2024 before moderating slightly to 6.5% lower by the end of the year. According to Abbe Will, Associate Project Director of the Remodeling Futures Program, “Even with the anticipated downturn, spending for improvements and repairs to owner-occupied homes this year is expected to easily surpass the robust levels seen early in the pandemic. Recent improvements in homebuilding and mortgage rates also support the prospect of turning a corner on the rate of remodeling spending losses by the end of the year.”
                                    • New furniture orders increased 12% in October 2023 over October 2022, according to the latest Furniture Insights report by Smith Leonard based on its survey of residential furniture manufacturers and distributors. The report noted the tumult of recent years, with new furniture orders falling in October 2022 and October 2021, following a pandemic-related 40% increase in October 2020. New orders year-to-date through October were up 2% over the same period in 2022. Furniture shipments were down 13% in October 2023 from October 2022 and were down 18% year to date. Manufacturers have been working through their backlogs that developed in 2020 and 2021. Backlogs dropped 5% in October from the previous month and were 43% lower than 2022 levels as backlogs moved closer to pre-pandemic levels. Inventories have also been rebalancing, down 1% in October from September and 31% from a year ago.
                                    • Building permits, housing starts, and housing completions are indicators of future furniture and furnishings demand. The number of building permits issued for privately-owned housing units decreased by 2.5% month over month but grew by 4.1% year over year in November 2023, according to government sources. Housing starts rose 14.8% month over month and increased 9.3% year over year in November. Housing completions climbed 5% month over month but fell 6.2% year over year in November.
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