YOY November furniture orders fall 35%

YOY November shipments fall 1.5% but were up 1.4% from October

HIGH POINT — November furniture orders were down 35% from November of 2021 and flat from October, according to the latest Furniture Insights report published by Smith Leonard.

Meanwhile shipments were down 1.5% from November 2021, but up 1.4% from October.

November orders totaled $1.93 billion, down from $2.9 billion in November 2021. They were about flat from October’s rate of $1.92 billion. Some 97% of the participants in the survey had lower orders in November 2022 compared to November 2021.

The report also said that November 2021 orders were flat compared to November 2020 when they wee up 17% over 2019. It went on to note that year to date, new orders were down 34% compared to November 2021.

November shipments totaled $2.54 billion, compared to $2.6 billion in November 2021. They were up slightly from the $2.5 billion reported in October.

The report said that November shipments were down for 45% of the participants as many were able to continue to bring down backlogs. Year to date, it said, shipments of $31.7 billion were up 6% over the same period the year prior and that only 31% of the survey participants reported a decline in year-to-date shipments.

November 2022 backlogs totaled $4.25 billion, less than half the $8.8 billion reported in November 2021 and down from $4.67 billion in October.

“As shipments exceeded new orders recorded, backlogs fell 9% from October, resulting in another significant decline in overall backlogs,” the report said. “At the end of November, backlogs were down 52% from November 2021. While still higher than normal levels, we are hearing that many have returned their backlogs to more normal levels.”

Receivables were up 2% over November 2021 levels, the report said, adding that this was in line with the 1% November-to-November sales increase. However, it said that inventory levels remain an issue as they were up 47% over November 2021 levels.

“While working those levels down some, with orders falling, it has been difficult to bring inventories down as quickly as most would like, especially considering that most dealers are somewhat over-inventoried,” the report said.

Also, the report said that the number of factory and warehouse workers in November was roughly even with October, but down about 2% from November 2021.

“We might expect those numbers to continue to fall if only through attrition, but with business continuing to appear to slow, we would expect some cuts need to be made, especially when shipments and manufacturing begin or continue to line up with incoming orders.”

Thomas Russell

Home News Now Editor-in-Chief Thomas Russell has covered the furniture industry for 25 years at various daily and weekly consumer and trade publications. He can be reached at tom@homenewsnow.com and at 336-508-4616.

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