This year we encountered relatively few companies that have gone out of business and closed. Certainly fewer than could be expected in such a difficult year. There were also a few consolidations, which is encouraging – people are seeing value in existing companies. In 2010 many of the woodworking industry market segments reported encouraging news. In our research of the FDM 300 companies we saw more secondary woodworking firms reporting 2010 sales similar to 2009, or down only slightly. Some companies are reporting stronger sales in 2010, a rarity in the previous year.

  • Download the complete list of the FDM 300, a group of the 300 largest cabinet, furniture, millwork, store fixture, office/contract and component producers in North America. The sales figures or estimates are included for all 300 companies.
  • Search the FDM 300 database, featuring company data including type of business, main location, product line, number of employees and plant locations. If companies in the database see information about their own firm that needs to be updated, they can provide it to kforth@wattnet.net.

Here are a few other observations:

  • A variety of companies reported stronger sales in 2010: Best Chairs, Inc., Pacific Crest Industries, Spectrum Industries Inc., Norcraft Cos., Wellborn Forest Products, OFS Brands Inc., Affordable Interior Systems, WoodCrafters Home Products, LLC., MasterCraft Wood Products LLC, Nucraft Furniture Co., KI, Fetzer Architectural Woodwork, Barbosa Cabinets, and Exemplis Corp./SitOnIt.
  • There are more news updates on LinkedIn and Facebook. Relatively few FDM 300 companies have Facebook pages, (maybe 30 or 40) but some of the ones that do have an active update on what they’re doing: new products, upcoming events, community projects, company news. A similar number are on twitter in some form. There are a surprising number of basic company profiles on LinkedIn.
  • No news is good news? Almost every company in this group has a web site (there are a couple that don’t -- seriously) and almost every one of those has a news section. And most of those have no recent news at all. There’s been nothing new at your company since 2006?
  • Bad year for the E’s. Of the unlucky 13 companies beginning with the letter “E”, Ello is out of business, Eurodesign and Environments were purchased by other companies, and Eagle Industries is operating in bankruptcy. Ethan Allen reported lower sales and plant closings.
  • Closing the P.O. Box. We still do a mailing, and in the course of postal, internet and telephone research we found a growing number of companies that have closed their P.O. Box and have gone back to a street address. They’re getting less mail, so that makes sense.

Thanks to those companies that did provide us with information this year. It is really appreciated.

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