After one of the worst years ever in 2009, sales for the FDM 300 group of companies had a recovery of sorts in 2010 – but still were down. We estimate that sales for this group of companies amounted to $38.49 billion for the year 2010. That’s a decrease of 6.4 percent from 2009 sales of $41.12 billion.

The 2009 figure represented a 19 percent decrease from 2008 sales of $50.71 billion. Sales peaked at $57.96 billion in 2006.

We were optimistic about sales being about even in 2010, but a few companies had big sales declines. A number of other privately held firms did not provide a sales figure. As we have observed previously, companies are much less likely to share sales data if it has been a down year.

The FDM 300 is a group of the 300 largest cabinet, furniture, millwork, store fixture, office/contract and component producers in North America.

We will have a complete list of all 300 companies and more detailed information on the 25 largest companies in the coming weeks.

Our estimate for number of employees in the FDM 300 for 2010 was 275,870, a decline of 3.3 percent from 285,447 in 2009. The employment figure is almost certainly lower – most companies did not offer an updated number. When asked, many requested that last year’s number be used. Employment fell 15 percent in 2009. Our estimate of number of employees was 337,861 in 2008.

Companies that survived the past few years are hoping for a positive sales year in 2011, and indications are that more companies in this group will achieve that level. Economists are predicting growth of 3 percent in 2011.

There are some positive signs. BIFMA reported that U.S. office furniture production was forecast to increase 4.4 percent in 2010 to $8.2 billion. In 2011, production is forecast to increase 8.3 percent to $8.9 billion.

Smith Leonard's November Furniture Insights report showed mixed results for the wood and furniture industries. From January to September 2010 residential furniture shipments were up to 8 percent over the same period a year earlier. Year-to-date cabinet sales were reported to be about even by KCMA in the same time frame. Final 2010 numbers are not yet available.

There are 11 companies that were in the FDM 300 in 2009 but are not on the current list. A more detailed report on these companies will follow in the coming weeks.

Most of the 11 companies that were added were firms that had sales just too low to be included in 2009.


Big Ten capsule countdown 

Most of the 10 largest companies at least held their own through 2010:

  1. Ashley Furniture: Ashley won by default when Steelcase reported a large sales decline for its fiscal year. We don’t have complete information, and were not able to get an updated number or a breakout of store sales as part of the total. Imports reportedly account for about 40 percent of furniture sales. 
  2. Steelcase Inc. Last year’s leader sustained a large decline (about $1 billion) in sales from fiscal 2009 to 2010. Keep in mind this represents their fiscal year, which ended early in 2010.
  3. Masco Corp. The sales number is based on third quarter sales of the cabinet segment, which includes KraftMaid and Merillat.
  4. Andersen Corp. The company does not provide information on sales. These are broad estimates. There were previously cutbacks reported.
  5. HNI Corp. Based on third quarter results for the office furniture business.
  6. Herman Miller Inc. Number provided by the company. Now owns Nemschoff.
  7. MasterBrands Cabinets Inc. This is our estimate based on company data.
  8. La-Z-Boy. Figure based on April 2010 annual report. Waterloo, Tremonton plants closed.
  9. Furniture Brands International. Number based on third quarter data. Additional information from company 10-K report.
  10. Haworth Inc. Company does not provide an estimate. This is the most recent completed fiscal year figure.

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