We believe the companies that work with us have a huge advantage over their competitors because of our knowledge base and our deep experience in the sector.
NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Certain sectors of the furniture industry benefited during the recession. Casual and outdoor furniture saw increased sales because people were spending more money on their homes rather than on vacations, according to Michael Hudgens, Southeast Regional Manager of CIT Trade Finance at CIT Group Inc., (NYSE: CIT) cit.com, a leading provider of financing and advisory services to small businesses and middle market companies. This topic, among others, is discussed in “Furniture Moves Forward: Sector Sees Post-Recession Growth,” (cit.com/hudgens), the latest in a series of in-depth executive video Q&As featured in the award-winning CIT Executive Insights video series (cit.com/executiveinsights).
Pent-Up Demand Driving Sales
As markets improve and many Americans regain confidence in the economy, furniture sales will see a lift. “In 2012 the furniture industry grew almost double the rate of the overall economy,” said Hudgens. “We think that was due to pent-up demand. Also, as the housing market improves, the furniture business will continue to see increased sales.”
Opportunities and Challenges
The challenges facing the industry now include determining where sales will come from and how to make it, such as adopting e-commerce strategies. Another problem is how to serve the 25-35 year-old demographic. “People in that age category really don’t want their parents’ furniture and see these products more as disposable versus durable,” said Hudgens. “This is what many furniture companies are trying to solve right now, and this is both a challenge and an opportunity.”
Issues Facing the Industry
The top three issues facing the furniture industry right now are rising costs, the consolidation of the customer base and securing financing. “Whether you are a domestic manufacturer or an importer, labor is scarce and expensive,” said Hudgens. “Secondly, retailers have consolidated from independent retailers to chain stores and then big box retailers. Lastly, when the housing market collapsed, furniture sales did as well. As a result, several banks and lenders pulled away from the furniture market, making financing difficult for businesses to secure.”
“The outlook for the sector is very positive. It’s a great business to be in and one that’s very important to CIT,” said Hudgens. “We believe the companies that work with us have a huge advantage over their competitors because of our knowledge base and our deep experience in the sector.”
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About CIT Trade Finance
CIT Trade Finance is a leading provider of factoring services in the United States for companies that primarily sell into retail channels of distribution. It provides accounts receivable factoring, trade credit protection, accounts receivable management and asset-based lending to manufacturers and importers. citfactoringuniversity.com
Founded in 1908, CIT (NYSE:CIT) is a bank holding company with more than $35 billion in financing and leasing assets. It provides financing and leasing capital and advisory services to its clients and their customers across more than 30 industries. CIT maintains leadership positions in small business and middle market lending, factoring, retail finance,aerospace, equipment and rail leasing, and vendor finance. CIT operates CIT Bank (Member FDIC), its primary bank subsidiary, which, through its online bank BankOnCIT.com, offers a suite of savings options designed to help customers achieve a range of financial goals. cit.com