There are some good things happening in the furniture industry! First and foremost, there has been a significant reduction in lead times. In some cases, they have been cut in half. Instead of 9 months to a year, estimated wait times are 2 to 6 months, depending on the vendor. There are many factors that had led to the reduction in lead times. Some of the main contributors include an increase in the use of domestic suppliers, a more abundant labor force, an increase in availability of raw materials, the simplification of product lines and the consolidating of suppliers.
Second, import containers are becoming more available which has driven ocean surcharges down or eliminated them all together. In turn, the cost of import goods is decreasing. More containers also means more product availability which will help retail furniture stores keep their inventory at healthy levels. more inventory, which can be replenished at a faster rates, means there will be more available to purchase off the sales floor.
Finally, we are beginning to see new product! As vendors have dealt with and found solutions to the problems created by the pandemic, they are finding more time to develop new products. This means furniture retailers have access to new designs, styles and product lines that help freshen up the sales floor and draw consumers in to see what is new.
It has been a long and frustrating few years for suppliers, manufacturers, retailers and consumers. It’s great to finally have some good news and a light at the end of the tunnel.