New residential furniture orders up strongly in June: Smith Leonard

The latest survey of residential furniture manufacturers and distributors by Smith Leonard indicated that new orders in June were 30 percent ahead of June 2019.

The increase over June last year was larger than expected. New orders were up for 73 percent of the participants. In May, new orders were down 8 percent from May 2019.

According to the monthly Furniture Insights survey from Smith Leonard, year to date, new orders were down 16 percent from the same period last year after an 18 percent decline reported last month. Some 81 percent of the participants reported a decline in orders year to date.

Also, shipments in June were down 7 percent from June 2019 which was reported to be in line with the decline in orders reported in May. Year to date, shipments were down 21 percent with 94 percent of the participants reporting a decrease in shipments. Backlogs were up 21 percent over May as the dollar amount of orders exceeded the dollar amount of shipments.

The number of factory and warehouse employees and their payrolls seems in line considering the effects of the payroll protection program from the government as well as the fast-changing business conditions. Many companies have been reported to be having difficulty bringing people back, as well as hiring new people.

“We have continued to hear that business has been better than expected as we came out of the months of March, April, and part of May, though there have been some recent rumors that not everyone is doing as well as others,” the report stated.

“We know there had to be pent up demand out there as those who had been planning to buy came back in a hurry once the stores opened and/or chose also buy online, either through a store or online retailer. Being at home more certainly made some of us notice things that could be improved.

“When it will end, or slow down, is anyone’s guess. Maybe it has for some already but for many, business has remained strong. We applaud the retailers who have figured out new ways to get to customers and meet their needs. We know that many of them have had issues with not having inventory and some of the suppliers have not had sufficient finished goods to help. But for those who had inventory or could turn custom made in a relative hurry, it has been some good times.”


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Karl Forth

Karl D. Forth is online editor for CCI Media. He also writes news and feature stories in FDMC Magazine, in addition to newsletters and custom publishing projects. He is also involved in event organization, and compiles the annual FDM 300 list of industry leaders. He can be reached at [email protected].