Wednesday, May 21, 2008


Score Big in the Furniture Fire Sale...but Beware of China

No Pandas Were Harmed in the Making of This Furniture

The Wall Street Journal's Kelli B Grant rounds up a list of retailers offering enormous clearance sales on furniture over the next few weeks. The reasons why, according to WSJ, are primarily due to the weak housing market.
"Furniture is a purchase that can easily be postponed," explains Stefan Wille, president of Aktrin Furniture Information Center, an Ontario-based market researcher. "If you have a fridge that breaks, you have to replace it. But if your table has a scratch on it, you can live with it for a while and replace it when times are better."

Some of the advice is to go for middle-of-the-road product, as custom furniture and high end merchandise has actually held up. They also recommend hitting the overstock stores like Tuesday Morning, looking for liquidation (bankruptcy) sales at Linens n' Things, negotiating with sales people and buying direct.

Some of the most promising sales include:
Manufacturer Thomasville holds its Memorial Day sale May 15 through June 2, offering up to 70% off. Through May 18, Macy's is slashing prices on select items, with discounts of up to 75%. And Pier 1 Imports is offering clearance discounts of up to 75% through June 22.

But don't get too excited as this glut of cheap furniture will probably come to an end very soon, thanks to new policies in China.

China is the largest supplier of wood and leather furniture to the world's markets and their ability to keep pumping the stuff out has been severely hampered by incredibly high crude oil prices. Cushion foam is made with petroleum, and then there are the shipping costs to consider.

Other factors affecting their exporting of furniture are a lower amount of tax incentives on "low tech" products like furniture, as the government finally moves to revalue it's currency against the US dollar. They are also shutting down many factories in order to improve the air quality for the Beijing Olympics this year. China has 16 of the world's 20 most polluted cities and it may be too little too late, but its all about image this summer so a lot of manufacturing will grind to a halt.

So go out and grab that piece of furniture you've been putting off while their giving it away.

Click here for custom furniture designers in New York

Read the full article here: Furniture Retailers Slash Prices

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