Furniture Industry Analyst Stump Comments on Activity in Pandemic

Charlotte, NC, April 14, 2020-Furniture industry analyst Stump offers the following report, 

“COVID-19 has put a pause on much of the global economy. The furniture industry is no different-domestic factories are mostly shut down, many workers have been furloughed or laid off, brick & mortar retailers are by and large closed, and the Spring High Point Market has been canceled. Companies are conserving cash by cutting costs, drawing down unused lines of credit and extending payables wherever possible. Public stocks have taken a beating, and the market capitalization of our industry’s leading public firms is now stunningly low. 

“ The federal government’s multi-faceted bailout programs, most notably the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), should provide a band-aid to firms over the next eight weeks. Hopefully, the crisis will have largely abated by then, and the process of rebuilding can begin. However, there is growing consternation that this pandemic may last well past May, further delaying economic recovery.  

“’We don’t know the course of this virus induced economic recession; what shape will it take? A double dip W? a U? a V? or most pessimistically an L?’ queried one industry titan. 

“Will these retail sales be lost or postponed? Memorial Day may well be an early test of pent up demand if we can get on the other side of virus shutdowns,” shared one southern retailer.

“Our E-Commerce clients and friends seem to be faring well, even thriving, through this time (some have reported as much as 25%+ growth over Q1 2019). This period of forced retail closures and increased time at home is pushing consumers online. We believe this period of change will accelerate the growth of furniture e-commerce. We are also observing that those who have invested in the infrastructure and systems to enable remote work and digital management are much more efficient during these trying days. These are trends we are watching closely.”