Includes bibliographical references (pages 79-80) and index
List of figures -- List of tables -- 1. Introduction -- 2. Structure of the furniture industry -- 3. How the industry operates -- 4. Industry organization and competition -- 5. Market forces inside and outside the industry -- 6. Regulation of the furniture industry, domestic and global -- 7. Challenges and opportunities for the furniture industry -- Notes -- References -- Index.
The furniture industry (NAICS 337) plays an important role in the U.S. economy as a bellwether for manufacturing through its utilization of a global production network. Types of furniture range from household to institutional, with particular growth in firms supplying medical and government-related commodities. The industry is highly responsive to fashion trends, but is partitioned into high, medium, and low cost segments that reveal different locational and market responses to changes. Recent developments indicate that the post-1980s migration of furniture manufacturing to offshore, low labor cost countries has stabilized and shows some faint signs of reshoring in the United States for high end customized and technologically intensive products utilizing the remaining embedded skilled labor and locally clustered industry components. Businesses that survived the recessionary "creative destruction" largely adopted lean manufacturing processes and took advantage of available lower cost equipment and buildings to upgrade their production practices, absorbing market from former competitors. New partnerships occurred with branch and headquarter relocations in Asia, along with cooperative supplier relationships with former U.S. and new foreign companies. Industry survivors adopted practices that could be highly instructive for other manufacturers challenged by globalization to grow stronger by increasing their adaptive capacity. An overview of the industry and its global production network includes the manufacturing technologies of each sector..