Are Builders Done Raising Furniture Prices?
It seems like the economy has reached a tipping point and has even started to slow in some areas (the housing market in particular). The big question our retailers are asking themselves is whether or not wholesale furniture pricing will continue to rise. From what we are seeing in the industry, furniture price increases may continue throughout the rest of this year and into next year depending on how fuel and labor costs are handled.
The cost of running generators has gone up because of high fuel costs
A problem many Amish builders are now facing is the high cost of running their generators. Since most Amish do not use electricity, they need to use a generator to power the tools in their workshops. One of our builders recently informed us that the cost of running his generator increased from $700 to $1,800 per month! This increase of over 150% will need to be added on top of the already high lumber prices. On top of energy costs for their shop the builders will also need to be more conservative when shipping products to and from the finish shop. By shipping a larger number of products instead of just one or two pieces at a time builders will be able to save money on fuel and transportation. The cost of fuel for generators and shipping will continue to affect the cost of wholesale furniture as long as the cost of oil continues to rise.
Labor costs are going up because of inflation and staffing shortages
The cost of labor is also continuing to rise for Amish builders because of the high cost of living and increased staffing shortages. Most Amish furniture manufactures are small family operations where the children are often working for their dad in the shop even after getting married and starting a family. One of our builders explained recently his concern for his son’s high cost of living. Since he wanted to take care of his son and his family he is having to raise his furniture prices once again. Another cause of high labor costs comes from the difficulty of keeping enough employees to keep a shop running. Gone are the days when everyone worked a forty hour work week. With more employees wanting to take off for vacation some shops have to hire more employees than necessary to ensure they are properly staffed. This higher cost for employees may be passed down to the retailers by raising the wholesale costs in the next few months.
Taking into account the cost of fuel and labor it looks like we may continue to see more price increases in the next six months ranging from three to five percent or higher. There are positive things on the horizon for the furniture industry that will help soften the price increases. The cost of lumber is continuing to come down and is projected to continue dropping into next year. Some supply chains are correcting themselves which will help the lead times for furniture to continue getting shorter.
If you are a retailer struggling to keep up with price increases then you can join our preferred dealer program to make accessing price lists easier for you and your staff. As the furniture industry continues to pivot we want to continue being a resource for your store. If you would like to optimize your digital marketing and online presence then please contact us today to schedule a free consultation.