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Thread: January 2023 Domestic Markets

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
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    Alexandria VA
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    Default January 2023 Domestic Markets

    As we come into 2023, we did not see a single price increase from any of our suppliers, which is great news! In every past year, we have always had one effective in January. They are holding the line.

    Orders have slowed across all lines and makes. The Low End is affected the most, as inflation is affecting that buyer who is (right now) spending their money on gas and groceries. There are layoffs in the Hickory NC region at the low-end makers and four day work weeks at those factories.

    Premium producers such as what we at The Keeping Room carry are still at capacity, however order times are improving and instead of 6 months, I am told to expect closer to 4 months on most. We will see, I don't put too much stock in predictions, the proof is when it rolls off the 18-wheeler and we do the math to the order date. It's better to under-promise and over-deliver than the other way around.

    Everyone is getting out of China. For both furniture and leathers/fabrics. You are going to see drops in leathers that come out of Chinese tanneries as the move for hides is going to South America. For Case goods that are imported, sourcing is moving to Vietnam and India.

    Hancock & Moore has their new, 3rd production line humming along and because its doing so well, they are going to roll out a new promotional line this Spring, yet un-named. You may see it as "Hancock at Home", but that has not been decided. This will be a price point line, designed to hit specific pricing targets without compromising quality and build, so I will expect shapes to be kept simple and covers to be value-oriented. I have no further information on it at this time, expect to see it in April, hopefully.
    Duane Collie
    Straight answers from thirty-six years in the business.
    My Private Messages are Disabled - Please ask questions here in the forum.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2022
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    38

    Default Re: January 2023 Domestic Markets

    Thanks for posting these types of updates.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Alexandria VA
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    16,016

    Default Re: January 2023 Domestic Markets

    Here's what is happening in the business.

    * Delivery times are improving from all the makers. We are not quite back to pre-Covid "Normal", but in most case your pieces will be built in 3 to 4 months, which is far better than 2022's 6 to 9 months.

    * Prices on materials have also stabilized I'm told, so there are no price increases from any suppliers that are forthcoming that I know of.

    * The lower end of the market is suffering, and there are layoffs in North Carolina at several of the low to mid-quality build companies. Their client base is being more affected by inflation, cost of groceries and gas, credit card debt and the like and demand for those goods is waning. The positive effect is the labor pool is now improving and the high end builders - who still have brisk business - can get workers.

    * The Covid-Crazyness that we have had to deal with in the furniture industry the past several years is finally going away, and we will see more normal as 2023 progresses. Good news!
    Duane Collie
    Straight answers from thirty-six years in the business.
    My Private Messages are Disabled - Please ask questions here in the forum.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Alexandria VA
    Posts
    16,016

    Default Re: January 2023 Domestic Markets

    Mid-March 2023, update

    Dare I say the industry is 90% back to pre-covid days. Backlogs are shrinking, build times are improving and no rumblings of price increases from any supplier. Labor shortages in the Hickory NC area have eased with layoffs from low-end builders so that helps as well, there are jobs available and people to fill them.

    Business has slowed, and that's in part due to the time of year. I can almost set my watch by it every year, as tax deadlines approach business softens in early March and will continue to be soft until early June, when it begins to pick back up again. Clientele for better brands of furniture are typically ones that have to pay into taxes, not get rebate checks from the IRS, so its understandable.

    It has been a crazy time since January 2019 when Covid showed up. Four years of really wild times in the furniture business. Normalcy is good. While I don't see manufactuers lowering prices overall, I think they will roll out promotions when their backlogs are down to 6 weeks or less. They are not there yet, but may be by August.
    Duane Collie
    Straight answers from thirty-six years in the business.
    My Private Messages are Disabled - Please ask questions here in the forum.

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