By Malcolm Ferguson
In the case goods and home furnishings industry, it is no secret that China is a force to be reckoned with. As consumers in the U.S., seeing “Made in China” stamped on our products is not just common, it is almost to be expected. However, the tides may be turning. At CBC, we have seen a shift emerge in home furnishings, especially upholstery and other non-case good items are being manufactured more and more in the U.S. Aside from manufacturing, we are also starting to see an early formation of shipments from the U.S. to other countries.
This shift can be broken down into three major elements:
• Costs are reasonable – American manufacturers are able to compete with China as far as pricing is concerned more than ever. The U.S. is becoming more price competitive and when you take away the cost of shipping from overseas there can be great savings.
• Customization – The U.S. has a variety of options other countries may not be able to offer. There are more choices when it comes to fabrics and other materials. In other countries, when you place a large order you may not have many options. However, in the U.S., you have the flexibility to tailor your order to your liking and to receive it in a timely manner.
• Marketing – “Made in the America” sells furniture. Consumers know that when they buy American made they are getting the best quality. For many manufacturers this label is a great marketing tool that helps to sell products.
• Shipping – Shipping and the cost of fuel is a huge factor in the cost of large home furnishings. Additionally, the time it takes for a product to come from overseas is valuable time that it could be on the shelf. Manufacturing goods domestically can literally save time and money when it comes to shipping costs.
While China is still a dominant force in the industry and that is not changing anytime soon, it is safe to say that in the upcoming years, more and more goods will continue to be manufactured in the U.S.