Furniture Orders Back On Track

Residential furniture manufacturers and distributors continue to see strength in their businesses with orders up 47 per cent in May compared to May 2020, says the ‘Monthly Furniture Insights Report’ from Smith Leonard. The May 2020 results were just the beginning of a somewhat comeback. Year to date, the results remained very strong with orders up 67 per cent over the first five months of 2020. Orders were up for 97 per cent of the participants year to date. Smith Leonard’s analysts compared the 2021 year-to-date results with the 2019 survey and it showed that new orders were up 36 per cent over the first five months of 2019. This shows business has continued to be positive since the beginning of the comeback from the basic shutdown of the economy due to COVID-19 in March/April 2020. Shipments were up 64 per cent in May compared to the year-ago period and up 43 per cent year to date. New orders continued to exceed shipments, so backlogs increased again in May, up three per cent from April and reaching an increase of 214 per cent over May 2020. There have been continued issues with lack of labour and acquiring raw materials, primarily foam for upholstery, as well as other raw material shortages. Adding to those challenges are problems with freight, whether it be lack of containers, port delays, or even trucking issues. The report says that the whole industry is just not able to keep up with the current demands for goods at the retail level.