The Economic Impact of Tariffs on the Furniture Industry
Last year, the U.S. imported $5.7 billion in wood furniture; $5.3 billion in upholstered furniture and $7.2 billion in “metal and other” furniture from China for residential and commercial use.
At the beginning of last year, the United State Government imposed a broad range of tariffs on goods imported from China, and no matter the size of the business, these tariffs have had a direct and indirect impact on the American consumer. From furniture manufacturers to wholesale retailers, companies are working relentlessly to implement various business strategies. In this blog post, we examine how the recently imposed tariff on select Chinese imports has affected the furniture manufacturing industry and how Trendler has responded with both short- and long-term strategies.
What is a Tariff?
Tariffs are taxes a nation imposes on goods and services imported from another country. They are paid by companies that import the products, not by the countries themselves. The U.S. Government Tariff Tax on imports is designed to boost U.S. production of goods.
The Economic Impact
Tariffs impact each company within the industry differently. The impact is truly dependent on their current business model of import vs. domestic production. Some manufacture their products using the 100% import model, while others 100% domestic production. Trendler uses the hybrid production model. For example, using June 1, 2019, 25% imposed tariffs on a standard metal chair with the upholstered seat on it, the 100% import model sold the chair for $60, the hybrid model sold the chair for $75, and the 100% domestic model sold the chair for $90. The 25% tariff impacted the varies models in this way: the 100% import model chair now sells for $75, the hybrid mode chair sells for $84, and the domestic model the price of the chair remains the same.
What sets Trendler apart from its competitors is their commitment to be a manufacturer of seating in North America. 100% of all Trendler Swivels and component parts are manufactured in our Chicago, Illinois USA. As Trendler expanded its product line from components and parts to chairs and barstools, their philosophy to manufacturing has remained the same: maintain a manufacturing presence while implementing a hybrid business model. Meaning a majority of their products are proudly manufactured in their Chicago facility and less than 30% of parts and components are coming from oversees. With this model, Trendler continues to provide its customers with reliable, quality furniture that comes with predictable lead times, competitive pricing, and superior service.
Trendler continues to stay abreast of the circumstances and is hopeful this is just a temporary global economic phenomenon that will end with sensible decisions for all countries involved.
Trendler thanks our dedicated customers in advance for their understanding and continued patronage. Please contact us if you have any questions or concerns.