Global Industry Overview: Furniture, Household

This industry's participants manufacture all types of furniture for household use. Their products range from all-wood furniture and cabinetry to upholstered pieces and mattresses. For coverage of office furniture, see Furniture, Office.

Industry Snapshot

The production and sale of household furniture is a large, highly competitive business in which thousands of different companies worldwide participate. Once largely confined by national boundaries, household furniture has become a multibillion-dollar import and export business. Although dominated on all continents by a handful of growing corporations aiming at the mass market, the furniture market still has room for craftsmen and small companies. The majority of these small operations produce furniture within their native countries for two important reasons. First, they are unable to compete with the resources and distribution channels of larger companies. Second, they are better equipped to meet the needs of buyers looking for customized furniture and one-of-a-kind pieces, mostly who look to small, local operations to meet these needs. While industry dynamics make it unlikely that these small competitors will ever grow as large as the conglomerates, the furniture industry still invites growth for companies developing products that fill niche markets. The key is finding the correct blend of price, function, and appealing style, and supporting the product line with an efficient and extensive distribution system.