Sales for cabinet manufacturers in the FDM 300 declined in 2010, but the falloff was much smaller than 2009, and there is some reason for optimism in 2011.

Cabinet manufacturers in the FDM 300 group of companies recorded years of sales growth up until late 2006, but sales declined sharply for all woodworking sectors in 2007-2009. Overall, sales for this group of 300 companies, including cabinet, furniture and millwork producers, amounted to $38.49 billion for the year 2010, a decrease of 6.4 percent from 2009 sales of $41.14 billion. See FDM 300 coverage and the full list.

Residential furniture imports surged over the past 10 years, and dozens of furniture plants in the United States closed. That hasn’t happened in the cabinet industry, which has embraced technology and updated its manufacturing processes. But visitors to exhibitions such as KBIS would surely notice the increased number of imported cabinet exhibitors.

Cabinet business survey 

In the Kitchen Cabinet Manufacturers Association's monthly Trend of Business Survey, cabinet manufacturers surveyed reported sales of $4.5 billion in 2010. That’s down 4.1 percent compared to total sales for 2009.

Stock sales in this group of companies fell 6.7 percent for the year. Semi-custom sales were down 0.5 percent, and custom sales declined 13.2 percent. The KCMA survey participants include all major U.S. manufacturers and the companies' combined sales represent more than 60 percent of the U.S. cabinet market.

For the month of December 2010, overall monthly sales were down 9.7 percent compared to December 2009. Stock sales fell 5.2 percent, custom sales were down 9.5 percent and semi-custom sales fell 13.5 percent, reversing an earlier trend of sales being shifted to semi-custom.

In 2009, KCMA’s survey reported sales of $4.9 billion, down 28.3 percent compared to total sales for 2008. Stock sales in this group were down 24.1 percent for the 2009. Semi-custom sales were down 30.2 percent, and custom sales were down 37.2 percent.

In late 2010 and early 2011 CabinetMaker+FDM surveyed the largest wood products manufacturers in North America for the FDM 300. Here is a summary of the 10 largest cabinet companies.

Cabinet top ten 

Masco Corp. The actual 2010 sales number, reported in February 2011, was $1.464 billion for the cabinet business segment, a decline of 13 percent from 2009. (Our earlier published number was based on third quarter sales.)
In a February statement, Masco expected depressed new home construction, deferral of large repair and remodel activity and commodity cost pressures to continue to create a challenging business environment in early 2011, but the company expected the second half of the year to be stronger.

Masco Corp.’s two Mill’s Pride plants in Waverly, Ohio, are expected to close, according to a report in the Chillicothe Gazette. The move would affect 1,200 jobs. Efforts have continued to find a buyer for the manufacturing operation. Last year Masco announced that it would combine its two cabinet companies, Masco Retail Cabinet Group (KraftMaid) and Masco Builder Cabinet Group (Merillat, QualityCabinets and DeNova) to form Masco Cabinetry.

MasterBrand Cabinets makes stock, semi-custom and custom cabinets. Our estimate is based on company information. The company includes Aristokraft, Diamond, Schrock and HomeCrest, and operates 14 plants. Adams County, Pa., and Clinton, Tenn., manufacturing plants were closed in 2009.

American Woodmark Corp. announced in February that third quarter 2011 sales increased 25 percent and sales for the first nine months in the company's fiscal year rose 12 percent. The company makes stock and semi-custom kitchen and bath cabinets in 11 plant locations.

RSI Home Products makes cabinets and vanities for major home retailers. The sales figure is our rough estimate; no complete data is available. The company planned to discontinue the Prestige product line and replace it with the Trademark line. In April 2010 RSI reportedly purchased Continental Cabinets in Dallas.

Elkay Cabinet Group makes Mastercraft, Medallion, Yorktowne and Schuler cabinets in seven locations. The Lanark, Ill., plant is closed. Sales number is our estimate.

Norcraft makes Fieldstone, Mid Continent, Norcraft, StarMark and UltraCraft cabinets. We used the third quarter figure for our estimate. The Winnipeg plant is makes cabinets for the Canadian market under the Norcraft Canada brand.

WoodCrafters Home Products employs 1,800 in South Texas and makes cabinets and vanities for major home centers. It is one of few in this sector that has grown during the recent recession, and reported higher sales in 2010.

Cardell Kitchen & Bath is based in San Antonio and makes stock and semi-custom cabinets. We were unable to confirm sales numbers. Part of the company was bought by HIG Capital in November 2010.

Armstrong Cabinet Products closed its Auburn, Neb., cabinet plant in December 2009, consolidating work in its Thompsontown, Pa., location. Sales are based on the third quarter for the company’s cabinet segment.

U.S. Home Systems makes custom cabinets and countertops in Charles City, Va. Sales number was provided by the company.
Cabinet group comparison 

For comparison, we broke out 30 cabinet manufacturers for which we had good sales information consistently over the past five years. This group consisted mostly of mid-size to large companies, without the very largest and the smallest companies. In 2010, sales decreased 4.2 percent to $12.78 billion for this group of 30 companies.

In this same group, sales increased in 2006 to $20.91 and these companies recorded a slight sales gain even in 2007, to $21.70 billion. That turned around in 2008, when sales fell to $19.37 billion. The decline gathered momentum in 2009, with sales down to $13.35 billion.

Also in the cabinet sector, Eurodesign Cabinets in Chino, Calif., was acquired by Pomona, Calif.- based Royal Cabinets last year, according an announcement by Royal. The two companies served residential developers and builders, but in different geographic markets. Royal intended to manufacture its own products and the Eurodesign product line in Royal’s plants in Pomona and Tijuana, Mexico. Southbridge Group, based in Cambridge, Ont., is out of the cabinet business. Its subsidiary, Acorn Kitchens in Kitchener, Ont., closed within the past year. Another Southbridge cabinet holding, Concord Kitchens, had closed earlier. Earlier, Cabinetec has reportedly closed its St. George, Utah, cabinet factory, and the year earlier Canac shut down its operations in Toronto.

What will 2011 hold for the cabinets sector? Possibly more consolidation. More imports. And, perhaps, higher sales.

Have something to say? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below.