The FDM 300 had its third straight year of sales growth in2014. We estimated that sales for theFDM 300 reached $43.325 billion in 2014, an increase of 9.3 percent over the2013 mark.

A year ago, we calculated annualsales for this group of 300 companies to be $39.630 billion for the year 2013,anincrease of 5.3 percent over sales for 2012. The three years of sales growthcome after five straight years of declines.

Companies of all stripes, large andsmall, reported the same or higher earnings. Sales of cabinet companies showedparticularly strong growth.

There were some sales declines. Some of the largest companies in this group hadsmaller gains or declines due to consolidations and other changes.

And there were still companies that closed in 2014. The largest wasChromcraft Revington, a furniture manufacturer with a large plant in Mississippi.The company, with $56 million in sales in 2012, had been bought by Sport-HaleyHoldings in 2013. The company closed operations in 2014, and its assets weresold to a Chinese company called Amtech, which we’ve been unable to reach.

CSC Worldwide, an Ohio, store fixture manufacturer, Southwood Furniture inNorth Carolina, Zsemba Apron and Upholstery in Ontario and Inwood OfficeFurniture in Indiana also reportedly closed. We just received word that anotherformer FDM 300 company, Vaughan Furniture, is closing.

Also, Stanley Furniture Co. Inc. closed its Young America furniture line andits last U.S. plant in Robbinsville, North Carolina, and La-Z-Boy closed itsLea Industries division.

Heritage House Group, the former Furniture Brands International, closed anumber of Lane and Thomasville manufacturing and distribution locations,auctioned some 17 properties, and moved its headquarters from Clayton,Missouri, to High Point, North Carolina.

There were several other closings and consolidations that we will detail inthe March issue of FDMC.

One other thing. Some companies don’t give out employee figures, but when weasked many times we got a variable number, say 5 to 10, or 75 to 100, forexample. This may afford the company more flexibility, but it may not be a gooddeal for employees, unless they are seeking part-time employment, are studentsor semi-retired

Once again, we see that this is a progressivegroup of companies that isn’t afraid of change and progress. They’re ready forany challenges, and they’re ready for a strong 2015.

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