We are in the 27th month of the Age of Anxiety. We’re on the edge of a nuclear apocalypse, worn down by the pandemic and a terrifying new war almost within earshot. Gas prices make us gasp. Home prices are soaring. Everyday necessities such as cars, refrigerators and furniture are in short supply.
Even the comforting habits of work have been upended. We Americans used to migrate from city to city, coast to coast, for work. Now, we move from room to room within our homes. Small annoyances loom large. Finding a desk is almost impossible – and increasingly pricey. Good luck buying a sofa for that post-meeting nap.
Maybe there are some lessons, as least about the furniture, in recent history.
The U.S. economy was bustling after World War II. With the war over, men and women married, bought homes and families. Furniture was a booming business.
During that post-war period, 60% of all the furniture made in the U.S. was manufactured within a 150-mile radius of North Carolina. National brands such as Henredon, Thomasville, and Drexel dominated the market. They built factories. They trained workers in woodworking and upholstering. This was the heyday of American furniture-making, and it lasted into the 1990s.
Then, suddenly, the industry vanished from our shores. Seeking to curb costs, furniture makers fled to China, then Indonesia, Malaysia and Vietnam. Fast furniture came into vogue. For the most part, it was inexpensive, trendy, poorly made – and it flooded the market.
Today, almost all furniture is at the mercy of the cargo industry. Getting your new sofa depends on faraway ports, containers, ships, dockworkers to load and unload, and truckers to bring that sofa to your local store. And every bit of that supply chain is snarled worse than a yarn ball in the paws of a puppy.
So prices will continue to soar. Supplies will be tight. There is no easy fix.
That’s why pre-owned furniture is such a hot commodity these days. Immediately available, it is increasingly popular with desperate buyers who need a bed or a table. And pre-owned furniture has the halo of sustainability: less packaging, minimal shipping, all in all, a smaller carbon footprint.
Experts say the furniture resale industry will double in the next three years. FCG has been a leader in the field for two decades with the largest inventory of high-quality furniture in New England – and a fleet of delivery trucks so you’ll get your furniture home within days of buying it.
We have showrooms in Hanover, Plymouth and, Natick. This spring, FCG will open its newest store in Burlington.