North America’s Largest Woodworking Event | Tuesday–Friday | August 6–9, 2024

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Industry & Trends

Furniture Industry Set for High Point Market Amid Dark Clouds

Recent bankruptcies on the supplier side could indicate more problems ahead for the furniture business.

With several high-profile bankruptcies on the supplier side of the business over the past few months, the upcoming High Point Furniture Market will be held with all eyes pointed…well, pointed in every direction as attendees keep a close watch on who could be next.

Four U.S.-based furniture companies have gone out of business over the past 11 months, all of them liquidated although bits and pieces of some of them have been bought up and are continuing limited operations. For raw material component vendors, including those who supply wood to furniture producers, it has been a tough year.

United Furniture Industries, which owned the Lane brand and sold many of its products under that name, was the first, going out last November. Anyone who thought it was an isolated occurrence found out otherwise in August when first Klaussner and then Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams also shut their doors, both unexpectedly. The most recent victim is Noble House, largely a private label supplier, which closed in September.

The High Point Market, which opens Saturday, Oct. 14, and runs through the following week, is the twice-yearly event where as many as 75,000 people gather to look at new products, talk shop, and even occasionally place orders. It also serves as an in-person reality check for the health of the industry which continues to deal with its post-pandemic hangover of soft business and higher-than-you’d-want inventory levels.

And while rumors run rampant on both the supply and retail sides of the business, there are no hard facts on any imminent bankruptcies. Still, once the market is over everyone is likely to have a much better understanding of potential winners and losers in the furniture business…and of the companies who supply it.

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International Woodworking Fair
Tuesday–Friday
August 6–9, 2024

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