BRIGHTON, Ontario – In the Summer 2021 edition of the Merchandiser, HGO’s quarterly electronic magazine, we look at both sides surrounding the question of the tariffs on imports of motion furniture and leather stationary furniture brought into Canada by producers in the People’s Republic of China and the Socialist Republic of Vietnam. This not as cut-and-dry an issue as one would immediately think.
On the one hand, Canadian upholstery manufacturers of all sorts – not just those making motion and leather stationary – have been losing market share for well over a decade now. Granted, most of the two dozen or so that immediately come to mind to most seasoned industry veterans are doing relatively well and have carved out niches and audiences capable of driving their growth at least in the immediate future.
But as an industry sector they have been losing ground over the past decade.
On the other hand, those opposed to the tariffs aren’t totally in the wrong either. Their collective observations about the negative impact the tariffs will have on pricing to the consumer and their own bottom line isn’t refutable neither is their observation about limited capacity of many Canadian manufacturers to meet their needs.
To cap things off, we update a recent report on upholstery shipments and the apparent market for the product category in Canada. For the first time, HGO offers some reasonably well-educated estimates as to the retail value of upholstery using figures from 2018.
At first glance, the industry seems to be stable but industry professionals from manufacturers and distributors to retailers need to be aware of the underlying currents. This is our attempt to shine some light on them.
On a lighter note, our contributing editor, Ashley Newport, profiles dex10, a unique retail concept designed to meet the challenges posted by the pandemic while meeting the needs of the 21st century shopper. Located in the heart of Calgary’s The CORE Shopping Centre, it allows the customer to walk into the store and purchase a piece of furniture – that they can see and touch – without having to consult with a salesperson. It’s an attempt at blending the best of in-store and online retailing.
We hope you find the issue informative and inspiring. Click here to download.