Challenges Facing the Furniture Industry and Possible Solutions
The furniture industry is currently undergoing changes that are proving to be a challenge to most manufacturers, suppliers, and consumers. The biggest one is climate change and the increased efforts to preserve the little forest cover that the planet has left. This has pushed the supply of timber, the main raw material for making furniture, into disarray, causing prices to shoot up and the demand to fall as a result.
We are going to look at the challenges that the furniture industry has been forced to deal with and at the same time, we will be exploring how these challenges can be addressed the right way. If you have a stake in the furniture industry and you would like to know where you stand in the next 10 years then this is for you.
Contrary to what many people assume, designing furniture is not an easy task. It takes a lot of effort and expertise just to get things rolling and this has impacted the furniture world negatively as the number of experts continues to plummet every year. The demand for furniture far outstrips the ability to supply unique designs that have never been seen before. This has continued to create a very huge gap in the market, forcing manufacturers to reduce their prices way too much, losing a huge chunk of their profits in the process. Finding unique designs like Keekea tables and chairs is a rarity in the industry these days and until more artisans are trained, the gap will continue increasing.
There are way too many furniture makers in the market and this is fast approaching a tipping point. As much as this benefits the consumer in terms of price being brought down due to competition, the reality on the ground is that the quality keeps deteriorating since most of the people getting into the game are not that experienced, they are simply stealing ideas from other people and making shoddy designs that are not good at all. Most don’t even make use of China sourcing services when it comes to acquiring the best raw materials for their manufacturing process and this continues to affect the furniture industry.
While most of the other industries have embraced online shopping, the same has not been replicated in the furniture industry and there’s a good reason for that. Furniture is a personal business that has to be conducted face to face to allow people to feel what they are buying beforehand. However, the lack of a strong online presence continues to hurt furniture makers and until they switch, things will not get better for them.
People cannot afford luxury furniture anymore. Currently, things have been dire for many years and COVID-19 has not helped matters either. As people lose their purchasing power due to inflation, they are increasingly overlooking proper furniture in favor of something cheap that can serve them for a few years before getting disposed of. This has been the main reason why most companies that deal in furniture manufacturing have closed shop in the last 18 months. It may get worse still.
Lack of Raw Materials
With bans imposed on logging, it is becoming harder and harder for furniture makers to get their hands on high-quality wood for their work. Things have become so dire that finding materials to make simple wholesale wooden boxes is becoming difficult as the days go by. The ban on cutting trees was necessary in the wake of climate change that has been wreaking havoc on the planet. Due to this, furniture makers have been forced to find other sustainable options for their line of work or risk dying out.
Increase in Renters
Traditionally, homeowners have been the biggest buyers of furniture, this is no longer the case. Property prices in real estate have gone so high that people are now opting to rent rather than buy a house. The thing with renting is that people don’t feel the need to get high-quality furniture since they don’t consider these homes permanent residences. They opted for simple furniture made of simple materials like plastic which are easier to dispose of and are cheaper. If this continues and nothing is done to rectify the situation, there’s a high possibility that many furniture-making companies will collapse very soon.
Furniture is changing and with it, many businesses are losing their footing as they are unable to keep up with the changes. However, with the integration of technology and alternative raw materials, it is only a matter of time before things get back to normal for all the parties involved. The biggest beneficiaries would be the furniture manufacturers who have had to endure bad times for a very long time.