Comments on Top 28 Upholstery Fabric Buyers (Winter 2017)
May 25, 2018
I assume by the list that you are only looking at US or Canada based companies of upholstered furniture because I don’t see any distributors, outdoor, contract, or RV accounts on the list. Below are 14 companies that I agree that should be on the list. La-Z-Boy, Ashley, Best, Ethan Allen, Flexsteel, Bassett, Jackson, Franklin, Klaussner, Craftmaster, Bernhardt, Jonathan Louis, Bauhaus, Palliser… It gets tricky after that. (Sherrill, Lexington, Heritage Home, Lee Industries, Schnadig, Rowe, Hooker,) may or may not buy enough total fabric to make the list. They may have a plain fabric that is broadly placed but the business tends to come in one sofa at a time. It is really a special -order business now. It is hard to measure because they may buy at some higher cut yard price points but the aggregate yards are small. I’m not sure about Mitchell Gold+Bob Williams anymore. I don’t think they do the volume that they once did; Again, they have become a high-end supplier. I don’t know about Universal. Their owner also owns Craftmaster so I typically think of Universal as the case goods/dining room portion of the company. I will tell you that you are missing two major companies. HM Richards is the largest supplier to Rooms to Go and is effectively owned by them. United is the largest supplier to Big Lots (a retailer) and they also have common ownership. Note: HM Richards main merchant is Andrea Banda. She has two people working for her. The more senior of the two is Ashley Barnett. United’s buyer is a Chris Burgett. He was previously with Ashley. Other promotional companies that are missing are Southern Motion, and American Furniture. Both are Tupelo, Miss. based companies who cut miles of fabric albeit mostly cheap plains and polyurethane so I’m not sure if you want them on the list. The truth is that La Z Boy and Ashley probably consume more that all others combined. Then you get into a whole other area of fully built imported furniture companies who target the dot com suppliers. Meridian Home is an example of this. Everything is specified in China and the fully upholstered (usually some sort of KD) sofas are imported. The landscape has changed so much that is it difficult to tell who is doing the most fabric business. I think that I have given you more questions than answers but it is very confusing out there. Name withheld on request.