Driven by U.S.-China Tariff Feud, Furniture Sourcing on the Rise

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This Thomas Index Report is sponsored by Bevco, a leading manufacturer of handcrafted seating solutions built for demanding work environments.

Hello. In this week’s Thomas Index Report, we’re going to take a look at sourcing activity for Furniture by users of the platform. Our data shows that over the past 12 weeks, sourcing activity in this category is up 15% over its historical average. It’s also up 19% year over year.

As of this past June first, thousands of products and materials from overseas are affected by a 25% tariff, and the broad and diverse furniture category is no exception. From chairs and tables, to bed frames, mattresses, cabinetry, and more, dozens of furniture–related products from China have been hit by the levy, which had been just 10% since the original wave of tariffs last summer.

According to Census Bureau data, the U.S. imported over $11 billion in furniture from China in 2017 – the year before the tariffs went into effect – so the amount of goods impacted is significant.

While our data shows that more buyers appear to be turning to domestic furniture manufacturers, those manufacturers are also dealing with tariffs on raw and finished materials such as aluminum and steel, leather, upholstery fabrics, and more, so the challenges to keep costs down run throughout the supply chain.

Of course, when most people hear the word “furniture,” it likely conjures up images of things like your dining room set, the recliner in your den, your bedroom set, or those patio chairs you picked up for the summer.

But users of the platform are organizational buyers, so the majority of the increased sourcing activity we’re seeing is being done by buyers for hotel chains, office buildings, hospitals, government facilities, and other institutions.

In fact, in addition to the broad category of Furniture, our data shows that sourcing activity is up 15% or more year over year in the categories of School Furniture, Cafeteria & Restaurant Furniture, Laboratory Furniture, and Hospitality, Hotel & Motel Furniture

Moving on, here’s a look at the top 10 industrial product and service categories being sourced on the platform over the past four weeks.

  1. CNC Machining
  2. Steel
  3. Plastic Injection Molding Services
  4. Printed Circuit Boards
  5. Aluminum
  6. Metal Stampings
  7. Chemicals
  8. Fasteners
  9. Automation Equipment
  10. Food Products

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Thanks very much for watching, and I’ll see you next week.

Image Credit: Thomas

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