• Jerry Epperson

Here's a heaping helping of great new statistics

Jerry Epperson An insider’s viewJerry Epperson An insider’s view
After all the excitement and frenzy of successful, upbeat High Point Market, I thought all of you would just love to have a lot of new, detailed statistics! Yeah!
     In 2012, total consumer retail expenditures on furniture and mattresses rose a handsome 5.9% over 2011. The gains in 2011 and 2010 were 3.5% and 3.2%, respectively, after a decline from 2007 to 2009 of 18.5%. Ouch. Thus, despite three years of sales gains, we remain 6.7% below our peak 2006 sales level.
     Imports rebounded in 2012 after a sub-trend performance in 2011. Looking at wood residential furniture first, imports in 2012 grew 6.1% while domestic wood furniture declined slightly by 1.3%. Both of these shifts were more extreme in the fourth quarter of 2012, with imports growing 6.5% and domestic off 2.4%.
     As a result, imported wood furniture represented 71.5% of all U.S. wood furniture sold in 2012, up from 53.3% a decade ago.
     Last year 43.4% of all wood furniture imports came from China, versus 41% a decade ago. In contrast, Vietnam and Canada swapped market share over the last decade. In 2003, Canada and Vietnam had 19.1% and 1.7% of the U.S. market, respectively, while in 2012, it was 6.5% and 19.3%.
     Want to be impressed? Imports of wood furniture from Vietnam grew at a 32.3% compounded annual rate over the last decade. Wonder if they send a Christmas card to the petitioners in the 2004 antidumping petition on Chinese bedroom furniture.
     Moving over to upholstered furniture, last year domestic upholstered furniture sales grew a respectable 3.8% but imports grew 14.3%, continuing to gain market share. For the year, 40.2% of all upholstered furniture sold in the U.S. was imported, almost double the 20.9% of a decade earlier.
     China dominates upholstered furniture imports with 75.2% of total upholstery imports. While upholstered furniture imports have grown 7.7% a year (compounded annual rate) over the last decade, upholstery imports from China grew at 18.9%. Canadian and Italian upholstered furniture imports to the U.S. are down 40.9% and 79.9%, respectively, over the last decade.
     Imports have not had a huge impact on the mattress sector, although last year 6.4% of mattresses sold in the U.S. were imported versus 1.7% a decade ago. While starting from a small base, the growth rates are impressive. Mattress imports have grown at a 27.3% compounded annual rate since 2003, but mattress imports from China (the largest source) and Mexico (second largest source) have grown 57.2% and 52.9% annually over the decade.


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