Furniture Industry Ramping Up Production

By Alan Wolf, YSN

Flexsteel, Norwalk Furniture and Craftmaster fired up idled manufacturing plants this week as home furnishings dealers begin reopening their stores.

According to a report in FurnitureToday, Flexsteel’s facility in Dublin, Ga., came back to life on Monday after closing in March due to coronavirus-related safety concerns. The company is also preparing to reopen its furniture factory in Juarez, Mexico in the coming weeks.

Norwalk, which shifted production to protective face masks and medical gowns after its Norwalk, Ohio, upholstery plant was sidelined in mid-March, also fully reopened for business this week. The company had moved most of its furniture orders out about five to six weeks due to the closure, and is working with retailers and suppliers to reset delivery schedules, Woodworking Network reported.

Craftmaster was similarly scheduled to resume production on Monday after shutting its four upholstered furniture plants at the end of March, according to Woodworking Network.

The vendors said they implemented strict safety protocols in advance of their plant reopenings.

The trio, along with fellow furniture manufacturers, are getting production back online in anticipation of increasing demand, as states begin relaxing their lockdown directives and home furnishings dealers reopen their stores.

“We have seen a slight uptick in retailer activity as brick-and-mortar stores are slowly reopening,” Flexsteel Sales VP David Crimmins said in a release. “Reopening manufacturing will help us to start to fulfill our sold customer backlogs.”

Other furniture vendors that recently reopened plants include:

  • Bassett, which was scheduled to resume limited production last week;
  • La-Z-Boy, which resumed partial production at several U.S. facilities on April 27; and
  • Ethan Allen, which began stepping up production at several of its North American factories in April.