Posts Tagged ‘denver hardwood flooring’

2010 headed in right direction

Wednesday, February 10th, 2010

I don’t want to jinx things, but I’m seeing a number of signs that suggest that 2010 is headed in the right direction.

For openers, a number of retailers active in home furnishings are enjoying sales spikes. Pier 1 Imports, for example, announced that same-store sales for the five-week period ending Jan. 2 grew 8.5%, while Costco reported a rise in December same-store sales of 9%.

But there is another yardstick that I’ve used over the years to help me gauge how well the industry will fare. I listen to front-line reports from retailers and exhibitors who have attended the first two industry shows of the year — the Atlanta International Gift & Home Furnishings Market and the Canadian Home Furnishings Market.

The good news: Based on everything I’ve heard, each of these shows knocked the ball out of the park.

Take the Atlanta show. A cold front that left much of the South shivering was unable to turn down the heat on the excitement in the aisles at AmericasMart as retailers aggressively shopped the Atlanta show.

Tom Russell, our case goods editor, was impressed by the volume of new product that vendors such as Four Hands, Palecek, Halo and Bailey Street introduced. Russell, who noted a big push in the area of sustainability, also saw a growing number of vendors offering custom options.

Of all that he shared, I was most optimistic about his sense of dealers breaking the tradition of shopping for best sellers in favor of gambling on more design-driven items as a means of livening up sales floors.

For its part, AmericasMart reported some of the busiest days in the history of the venue.

“The 2010 edition of (our) home, gift and rug shows was a great example of how important and transformational it is to work with exhibitors to promote and aggressively pursue buyers from all across the United States and all over the world. We are flattered and honored that so many retailers chose AmericasMart to spend their open-to-buy,” said Jeffrey Portman Sr., president and COO of AmericasMart.

The reports from the Toronto market were equally upbeat. Retailers used words like “busy, exciting and worthwhile” to describe the event.

And if there’s truth in the cliché about the third time being a charm, then Tupelo, set to welcome 40 new exhibitors, may be well on the way to helping make my perception a reality.

Ray Allegrezza, Editor in Chief — Furniture Today

Design Within Reach raising funds for Haitian earthquake victims

Wednesday, January 20th, 2010

Will match donations to UNICEF
Furniture Today Staff — Furniture Today
SAN FRANCISCO — Home furnishings retailer Design Within Reach says it will match up to $25,000 in donations to UNICEF’s Haiti Earthquake Fund, for a collective total donation of $50,000.
To participate, customers should visit the DWR website,, where they will be directed to a link to make a donation.

In coordination with other UN agencies, UNICEF will provide supplies to allow access to sanitation, safe water and basic health care in Haiti. The agency also is preparing materials and staff so that children, vulnerable during natural catastrophes, are protected.

“While our company’s name is Design Within Reach, today we are proud to provide help within reach to the people of Haiti,” said John Edelman, CEO. “I am equally proud of the support of our customers and employees in joining me in providing assistance. Our hearts and thoughts are with the people of Haiti.”

These are tough times to find ‘good’ numbers

Monday, January 11th, 2010

Jerry Epperson — Furniture Today

Do you like numbers? Let’s face it, some are better than others. These are tough times to find “good” numbers.

In their most recent quarters, the average revenue decline for the U.S. publicly held furniture manufacturers and importers was 31.1% while mattress manufacturers averaged a 20.8% drop and the foreign public companies’ decline was 15.0%.

In the June quarter, domestic wood furniture shipments declined 26.6% while wood imports fell 22.8%. Among the eight largest import sources, Vietnam did the best, off only 5.7%, and Canada did the worst, down 51.9%. Our largest source, China, declined 25.6%.

Domestic upholstery fell less severely, “only” 16.2% in the June quarter versus last year, while imports were off 15.5%. China, again the largest source, was off 7.9%, while Mexico, Italy and Canada nose-dived 35.0%, 46.0% and 54.4%, respectively. Imported cut-and-sewn fabric covers grew 5.9% in the quarter.

Using our methodology to calculate market share, imports represented 69.6% of all residential wood furniture sold in the United States in the June quarter. Upholstery imports were 30.3% of all the upholstery sold with leather upholstery being over half of the total.

Mattresses are doing better, or less horrible, if you will. In the June quarter, domestic mattresses dropped 15.8% while imported ones fell 13.9%. Imported mattresses were only 4.1% of the mattresses sold in the U.S. in the second quarter.

Given all these declines among the public companies, in the domestic manufacturers and the importers, the government reports that retail purchases of furniture and mattresses fell 10.5%.

In our opinion, a more accurate number for the retail sales of our products in the June quarter would be a decline of 18% to 20%.

Speaking of retail numbers, the Bureau of Economic Analysis recently restated its consumer expenditure series, not by a little bit, but a bunch. Its restated statistical series shows that we sold $92.9 billion of furniture and mattresses to American consumers in 2008, a 14.4% higher number than the $81.1 billion they reported earlier.

I wish we could find that additional $11.7 billion today. We could really use it.

Author Information 

W.W. “Jerry” Epperson Jr. is a managing director of Mann, Armistead & Epperson Ltd., 119 Shockoe Slip, Richmond, Va., an investment banking and research company that specializes in the furniture sector. Online at