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Office Furniture Market in the U.S.

The mounting use of computers and related technology in the 1980s fueled a boom in sales of office furniture to meet the needs of a changing work landscape, including new types of workstations, printer tables, movable walls and partitions. Following the dotcom bust, office furniture makers struggled to adapt by introducing new products and distribution channels, experimenting with M&A strategies, and looking into sustainability measures and overseas markets for new buyers, raw materials and plant locations. These efforts paid off, and since 2003 the U.S. office furniture market has experienced a period of growth and relative stability, registering a compound annual growth rate of 7% through 2007, according to SBI’s Office Furniture Market in the U.S.. Beyond the domestic market, U.S. manufacturers have seen their exports of office furniture grow at twice the rate of imports during that period.

Despite the strength of the market in recent years, uncertainty regarding the economy, new office construction, and office absorption and vacancy rates present challenges for the market in the near future. SBI looks at the impact of these factors, along with trends in producer price indexes for raw materials used by office furniture manufacturers and changes in the workplace driven by technological innovation and employment growth in the service sector. Special attention is given to potential growth areas, including the healthcare and education environments and the home office. In addition, the report profiles major manufacturers, with insight into each company’s products, revenue performance, competitive advantages, strategies for growth, manufacturing operations, and marketing and distribution channels.

Office Furniture Market in the U.S. provides a comprehensive analysis of the U.S. office furniture market, including domestic production by category (wood vs. non-wood) and segment (seating; desks & desk extensions; files, storage units & tables; and other furniture such as office systems), the market’s position in the broader context of the overall furniture industry and the size of the U.S. market in terms of shipments, imports and exports (i.e., apparent consumption). Report data were obtained from government sources, including the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Census Bureau, International Trade Commission and Bureau of Economic Analysis, and the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor, trade associations such as the Business and Institutional Furniture Manufacturer’s Association (BIFMA) and the Office Furniture Dealers Alliance (OFDA), industry analysts, furniture manufacturers’ websites and business and trade journals. SBI analyzed these data to provide the reader with an accurate picture of the historical (2003-2007) and projected growth (2008-2012) of the U.S. market for office furniture.


  • Executive Summary
    • Methodology
      • Composition of the Market
      • Market Experiences Relative Stability in Recent Years
      • U.S. Production
        • Table Value of U.S. Office Furniture Shipments by Category, 2003-07E (in million $)
        • Table Share of U.S. Office Furniture Shipments by Category, 2003-07E (in million $)
        • Table Growth of U.S. Office Furniture Shipments by Category, 2003-07E (in million $)
      • The U.S. Market
        • Table U.S. Office Furniture Market, 2003-07E (in million $)
        • Table U.S. Imports as a Share of the U.S. Office Furniture Market, 2003-07E (in million $)
      • U.S. Market Forecast
        • Table Forecast of U.S. Office Furniture Market, 2008F-2012F (in million $)
      • Imports Exceed Exports, but Exports Show Stronger Growth
        • Table U.S. Office Furniture Imports by Commodity, 2003-07E (in million $)
        • Table U.S. Office Furniture Exports by Commodity, 2003-07E (in million $)
    • Trends Impacting Market Growth
      • The State of the Economy
        • Table U.S. Current-Dollar GDP vs. Real GDP, 2002-08 (in trillion $)
      • Manufacturing Costs on the Rise
        • Table U.S. Producer Price Indexes for Selected Commodities Affecting the Office Furniture Market, 2003-07P
      • Form Follows Function in Furniture Design; Technology Is King
      • Shift to Service Sector Benefits Office Furniture Market
        • Table U.S. Employment Growth for Office-Oriented Service Sector Categories, 2006-2016P (in thousands)
      • Office Space Construction Up in `07; Impact of Economy Unknown for `08
        • Table New Office Space Construction and Net Absorption in 50 Largest U.S. Metropolitan Areas, 2005-07 (in millions of square feet)
      • New Market Opportunities: Healthcare and Education
      • Home Offices on the Rise, But Will It Impact Manufacturers?
    • The Competitive Environment
      • Table Revenues for Top Six U.S. Office Furniture Manufacturers, FY 2007 (in million $)
    • Distribution and Promotion
      • Distribution Channels: Dealers Hold Top Position
      • Sales Representatives
      • International Sales
      • Promotion
  • Market Size and Growth
    • Methodology
      • Composition of the Market
      • Market Experiences Relative Stability in Recent Years
      • U.S. Production
        • Table Value of U.S. Office Furniture Shipments by Category, 2003-07E (in million $)
        • Table Share of U.S. Office Furniture Shipments by Category, 2003-07E (in million $)
        • Table Growth of U.S. Office Furniture Shipments by Category, 2003-07E (in million $)
        • Table Value of U.S. Office Furniture Shipments by Category and Segment, 2003-07E (in million $)
        • Table U.S. Office Furniture Shipments as a Share of Total U.S. Furniture Shipments, 2003-07E (in million $)
      • The U.S. Market
        • Table U.S. Office Furniture Market, 2003-07E (in million $)
        • Table U.S. Imports as a Share of the U.S. Office Furniture Market, 2003-07E (in million $)
      • U.S. Market Forecast
        • Table Forecast of U.S. Office Furniture Market, 2008F-2012F (in million $)
  • Imports and Exports
    • Methodology
      • Table Methodology
      • Imports Exceed Exports
        • Table U.S. Office Furniture Imports by Commodity, 2003-07E (in million $)
        • Table U.S. Office Furniture Exports by Commodity, 2003-07E (in million $)
      • Wood Furniture and Swivel Seats Dominate Imports
        • Table Share of U.S. Office Furniture Imports by Commodity, 2007E (in million $)
      • Metal Furniture Leads Exports
        • Table Share of U.S. Office Furniture Exports by Commodity, 2007E (in million $)
      • Growth of Imports and Exports
        • Table Growth of U.S. Office Furniture Imports by Commodity, 2006-07E and 2003-07E (in million $)
        • Table Growth of U.S. Office Furniture Exports by Commodity, 2006-07E and 2003-07E (in million $)
      • China Makes Deep Inroads in Imports
        • Table U.S. Imports of Wooden Office Furniture, Except Seats, by Top 15 Countries, 2003-07E (in thousand $)
        • Table U.S. Imports of Metal Office Furniture, Except Seats, by Top 15 Countries, 2003-07E (in thousand $)
        • Table U.S. Imports of Reinforced/Laminated Plastic Office Furniture by Top 15 Countries, 2003-07E (in thousand $)
        • Table U.S. Imports of Plastic Office Furniture by Top 15 Countries, 2003-07E (in thousand $)
        • Table U.S. Imports of Swivel Seats with Variable Height Adjustment by Top 10 Countries, 2003-07E (in thousand $)
        • Table U.S. Imports of Swivel Seats with Height Adjustment and Wooden Frames by Top 10 Countries, 2003-07E (in thousand $)
        • Table U.S. Imports of Seats with Wooden Frames, Chair Upholstered, by Top 15 Countries, 2003-07E (in thousand $)
        • Table U.S. Imports of Seats with Wooden Frames, Upholstered, by Top 15 Countries, 2003-07E (in thousand $)
      • Canada Continues As America's Strongest Customer
        • Table U.S. Exports of Metal Office Furniture, Except Seats, by Top 15 Countries, 2003-07E (in thousand $)
        • Table U.S. Exports of Wooden Office Furniture, Except Seats, by Top 15 Countries, 2003-07E (in thousand $)
        • Table U.S. Exports of Swivel Seats with Variable Height Adjustment by Top 15 Countries, 2003-07E (in thousand $)
  • Trends Impacting Market Growth
    • The State of the Economy
      • Table U.S. Current-Dollar GDP vs. Real GDP, 2002-08 (in trillion $)
      • Manufacturing Costs on the Rise
        • Table U.S. Producer Price Indexes for Selected Commodities Affecting the Office Furniture Market, 2003-07P
      • Form Follows Function in Furniture Design; Technology Is King
      • Shift to Service Sector Benefits Office Furniture Market
        • Table U.S. Employment Growth for Office-Oriented Service Sector Categories, 2006-16P (in thousands)
      • Office Space Construction Up in `07; Impact of Economy Unknown for `08
        • Table New Office Space Construction and Net Absorption in 50 Largest U.S. Metropolitan Areas, 2005-07 (in millions of square feet)
      • New Market Opportunities: Healthcare and Education
      • Home Offices on the Rise, But Will It Impact Manufacturers?
  • Competitive Environment and Profiles
    • Top Six U.S. Office Furniture Manufacturers
      • Table Revenues for Top Six U.S. Office Furniture Manufacturers, FY 2007 (in million $)
      • Methodology
    • Steelcase, Inc.
      • Table Steelcase, Inc.
      • Overview
      • Performance
        • Table Steelcase Revenues, 2003-07 (in million $)
        • Table Steelcase Revenues by Segment, 2007 (in million $)
      • Product Portfolio
        • Table Steelcase Product Lines and Brands by Segment
      • Competition
      • Manufacturing and Operations
      • Marketing and Distribution
      • Environmental Commitment
      • Recent Developments
    • HNI Corporation
      • Table HNI Corporation
      • Overview
      • Performance
        • Table HNI Revenues, 2003-07 (in million $)
        • Table HNI Revenues by Segment, 2007 (in million $)
        • Table HNI Office Furniture Revenues, FY2005-07 (in million $)
        • Table Office Furniture Revenues as Percentage of HNI Revenues, FY2005-07
      • Product Portfolio
        • Table HNI Corporation Product Lines, Products and Primary Brands
        • Table HNI Operating Companies and the Market Emphasis of Each
      • Competition
      • Manufacturing and Operations
      • Marketing and Distribution
      • Environmental Commitment
      • Recent Developments
    • Herman Miller, Inc.
      • Table Herman Miller, Inc.
      • Overview
      • Performance
        • Table Herman Miller Revenues, 2003-07 (in million $)
        • Table Herman Miller Revenues by Region/Segment, 2007 (in million $)
      • Product Portfolio
        • Table Herman Miller Inc., Selected Product Lines and Brands
      • Competition
      • Manufacturing and Operations
      • Marketing and Distribution
      • Environmental Commitment
      • Recent Developments
    • Haworth, Inc.
      • Table Haworth, Inc.
      • Overview
      • Performance
        • Table Haworth Revenues, 2003-07 (in million $)
      • Product Portfolio
      • Competition
      • Manufacturing and Operations
      • Marketing and Distribution
      • Environmental Commitment
      • Recent Developments
    • Knoll, Inc.
      • Table Knoll, Inc.
      • Overview
      • Performance
        • Table Knoll Revenues, 2003-07 (in million $)
      • Product Portfolio
        • Table Knoll, Inc., Product Lines and Models
      • Competition
      • Manufacturing and Operations
      • Marketing and Distribution
      • Environmental Commitment
      • Recent Developments
    • Kimball International, Inc.
      • Table Kimball International, Inc.
      • Overview
      • Performance
        • Table Kimball International Revenues, 2003-07 (in million $)
        • Table Kimball International Revenues: Furniture vs. Electronic Contract Assemblies, FY2007 (in million $)
        • Table Kimball International Revenues by Furniture Product Line, 2006-07 (in million $)
      • Product Portfolio
        • Table Kimball International Product Lines and Brands
      • Competition
      • Manufacturing and Operations
      • Marketing and Distribution
      • Environmental Commitment
      • Recent Developments
    • Snapshot: KI
      • Table Snapshot: KI
    • Snapshot: The Global Group
      • Table Snapshot: The Global Group
    • The Home Office
  • Distribution and Promotion
    • Dealers are Top Distribution Channel
      • Sales Representatives
      • Wholesalers and Buying Groups
      • Superstores and Other Retailers
      • Direct Sales
      • e-Commerce
      • International Sales
      • Promotion
  • Selected Office Furniture Manufacturers
    • Top Six Manufacturers Profiled in This Report
      • Snapshot Profiles in This Report
      • HNI Corporation Operating Companies
  • U.S. Office Furniture Industry Resources

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