It’s the most wonderful time of the year: A furniture industry carol

A year ago, I brought the industry “The 12 days of Christmas: A supply chain lament.” Oh, what a difference even one year can make. As an industry, we are singing a different tune.

Just 363 days ago, importers wrangled with seemingly criminal container pricing, supply chain kinks from factory to store floor, and the lingering effects of the pandemic, including infections among labor forces in Asia and raw materials shortages. As a result, retailers couldn’t reliably plan inventory, consistently price goods or accurately quote delivery times. Our collective partridge was stuck high up in the proverbial pear tree.

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Today, with 2023 ringing the doorbell (I can see it standing there on my Ring, waiting), container prices have normalized somewhat, and warehouses are flush. The pandemic is still cruising the neighborhood but at least it is no longer stealing everything we value and cherish while we sleep. I am reminded of Andy Williams’ 1963 holiday hit, “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year.”

So, pour another mug of eggnog, work that recliner lever back as far as the Leggett & Platt mechanism will allow and enjoy this year’s musical holiday tribute. For maximum listening pleasure, imagine whoever you prefer on vocals – seemingly every major recording artist has covered this song. My choice is Johnny Mathis. Or, grab a karaoke mic and sing along with me!

Also, for the full effect of this outpouring of holiday cheer, ignore the war in Ukraine, soaring inflation and tepid demand for furniture at retail as consumers brace for another wild ride in 2023. Denial can be a beautiful thing! Here we go!

A one, a two, a one-two-three . . .

It’s the most wonderful time of the year
Cash registers ringing
And everyone telling you be of good cheer
It’s the most wonderful time of the year

It’s the hap-happiest season of all
With those free shipping offers and sales coffers brimming
When customers come to call
It’s the hap-happiest season of all

There’ll be dining for hosting
Outdoor for roasting
Accessories priced to go.
There’ll be sofa sectionals
And lots of occasional and
Fewer manufacturing woes.

It’s the most wonderful time of the year
There’ll be customers cocooning
And e-sales ballooning
When payment plans are dear

It’s the most wonderful time of the year

There’ll be dining for hosting
Outdoor for roasting
Accessories priced to go.
There’ll be sofa sectionals
And lots of occasional and

Fewer supply chain woes.

It’s the most wonderful time of the year
There’ll be customers cocooning
And e-sales ballooning
When payment plans are dear

It’s the most wonderful time

Yes, the most wonderful time
Oh, the most wonderful time
Of the year!

(For “cocooning,” we had to string Faith’s old popcorn on the tree.)

For 2023, here’s to breaking a few sales records, winnowing those inventory levels and looking forward to a fiscal quarter or two with no major furniture recalls.

As we turn the page to a new year, we know that although things get smaller in the rearview mirror, they don’t go away. The industry will have its part to sing in the chorus of the fight against multiple global challenges and crises threatening our planet, crises that include war, pandemic and climate change. With one eye on Ukraine and the other on China, we find refuge in family, in spending at least a little time away from email, and the small ceremonies that hold our lives in place, like hanging stockings and unwrapping presents.  

Happy holidays to the readers of Decor News Now and its sister publications Home News Now and Casual News Now! I’ll see you next year!

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