made in china

dudziakApril 6, 2005

I would like to hear opinions on mid to high end furniture manufacturers moving most or all of their manufacturing operations to China. The companies I am namely talking about are the La-Z-Boy companies; Pennsylvania House,American Drew,Kincaid,La-Z-Boy,Hammery, Clayton Marcus and Furniture Brands International; Drexel Heritage,Henredon,Thomasville,Lane,Broyhill.I have furniture from both corporations and have just picked up a few Pa. House items that were still made in the U.S.A..I do not think I will buy any more of the two corporations furniture now that it is made in China how does everyone else feel?

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To me I have no problem with it,,this is the same backlash that appeared 20 years ago, when all of a sudden all of usa auto's were made overseas; the same concerns of quality - whom has made a better car over the past period?

    Bookmark   April 7, 2005 at 7:31AM
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Jimrac,that is not even close to being the same. Twenty years ago what we had was Japanese and Europian car makers taking more market share. Ford,GM and Chrysler did not relocate almost all manufacturing overseas.Furniture Brands International and La-Z-Boy are the two biggest furniture manufacturers which would be the equivalent of GM and Ford relocating almost all manufacturing overseas.

    Bookmark   April 7, 2005 at 8:44AM
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The best way for consumers to influence these idiotic, large multi-national corporations is to not buy their products when they don't support US (or Canadian) manufacturing jobs and the benefits to the economy. There are still many smaller furniture companies out there that employ locals, use raw material that are not stolen, and make great long-lasting products. A couple examples are Mobel Furniture in Indiana and Durham Furniture in Ontario. There are many other too, but you might have to look harder because they don't spend as much on advertising. The internet helps in this way. And if you can affort it, consider having it custom made just the way you want by a local furniture builder with a good reputation.

    Bookmark   April 7, 2005 at 4:07PM
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I know this is an old post but I need to respond (I just discovered this forum after spending time over in the kitchen forum).

Last summer I purchased an Ethan Allen Horizons media cabinet, the smallest size with the two open storage areas and two doors. I did research and thought (thought) that all their Horizons products were made in the U.S. I already own some bedroom pieces from their British Classics collection, made in the U.S., and am pretty pleased with them.

Anyway, when I received the piece in late October I saw the "Made in China" tag and was disappointed. I was more disappointed upon further inspection that the thing was a piece of crap. Not only did it have a lot of shoddy repairs, but the fit and finish was horrible. None of the joints were flush, the doors didn't hang properly, one of the doors had a 7-in. crack that had been colored but was very visible in the sunlight, the stain on the interiors shelves was five shades lighter than the rest of the piece and there was visible glue on the door panels.

To make a long story short, they sent out a repair guy, who said it was one of the worst pieces he's seen in a long time (he even took photos, which he said he hardly ever does), and the thing sat in my living room for months until March when they finally delivered me a good piece (this was after they tried to deliver it to me in late February when it had some dings and dents).

The experience seriously will make me reconsider ever buying anything from them again, not because it was that bad (I've heard worse EA horror stories), but because I know this is just the tip of the iceberg. They are making more and more of their products in Asia every year (I think even some of the BC pieces are now being produced in China) and as someone who grew up with EA furniture and spent hours in their showrooms with my mother, it's just a sad state of affairs.

I don't know if you can compare the situation to the auto industry. I grew up in a GM family and now am an auto writer covering the Asian brands, so I know whereof I speak. Because of Toyota and Honda, quality is more important than ever to car buyers. I'm not so sure the same can be said of furniture buyers. For some reason respect for the beauty and integrity of furniture isn't as high as it is for cars. The same people who drive $30,000+ Japanese models with beautiful fit and finish inside and out think nothing of going to Target or Ikea and buying particle board furniture that will fall apart in a year. Strange, and sad for the thousands of Americans who care about crafting beautiful furniture and don't have a job anymore that allows them to do so.

    Bookmark   April 30, 2005 at 2:14AM
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There are still many made in USA furniture brands of some of the highest quality furniture available and some sturdy pieces with very competative prices for those who wish. To name a few: Hallagan (New York), Temple (NC), Tom Seely (WV), Moosehead (Maine), A A Laun Homeland series (Wisc)and others.


    Bookmark   April 30, 2005 at 3:37AM
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I recently purchased a Harden sofa. It is made in upstate New York and the quality is still very good.

I also purchased the Bernhardt Embassy Row round table and 6 side chairs. After the table and chairs were replaced the second shipment was not much better. The finish work is horrible and made in China. When placing orders for furniture one should ask where the items are manufactured. I am sorry that I did not refuse the replacement order. I had waited so long and the time and in getting the items replaced wore me out. I learned a valuable lesson.

    Bookmark   April 30, 2005 at 4:46PM
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flyingflower have to look for the "Made in America" stamp on Ethan Allen furniture now. Some collections are made here and others (the newer ones) are not. If you don't see that stamp in the showroom then you'll know the piece is made overseas. They are very sneaky at that store, they know customers don't like their furniture being made off-shore so they're hiding it as best they can. They want customers to continue believing Ethan Allen furniture is made in the USA. But if you ask them they have to tell you. When it's made here they're proud to display that fact but if it isn't they keep quiet. Shamefull isn't it.

    Bookmark   April 30, 2005 at 10:16PM
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I bought a leather sofa and loveseat from Ethan Allen last summer. I wanted to find an American-made sofa. I asked the saleslady and she told me they were made in America. I called the company headquarters for more info and the woman I spoke to on the phone was very nice and seemed honest. She did a little research and called me back - she said the leather was purchased in Brazil and sewn in the US, and that the entire sofa was made in their North Carolina facility. The hardwoods in the sofa are from the US.

I was looking at some of their case goods in the store (dressers, etc.) and several of the pieces I liked (like a British Clasics chest for example) had a "made in America" stamp inside the drawer. I didn't end up buying any of these though - my DH does woodworking and has promised me some end tables :-)

If you want more details on where your furniture is made, including component parts, I would suggest skipping the floor salesperson and calling company HQ and pressing for details. Things change over time and different pieces can be made in different locations. In my case I felt like I got an honest answer.

    Bookmark   May 2, 2005 at 4:13PM
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I just received Stanley bunk beds for my little boy. Boxes all said "Made in China". When I was testing the bed out, I noticed a sticker on the ladder that said "Made in USA". ? Whatever!

    Bookmark   May 3, 2005 at 8:09AM
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I work in furniture sales, but don't want to violate the the terms of this forum by telling who I work for. I am new to the job and the industry so a lot of the questions I see you all ask are ones that I have had too. Here's some of what I have learned:

Most upholstery is done here in the states although some "program" pieces may be made overseas (These are certain styles that come with only certain fabrics and then the price is lower.)The quality of the work can vary greatly, even if it is done here.

Some very high end makers have gone overseas - China, Vietnam,Indonesia, etc., and the quality is very good. Other makers have gone overseas and the quality is really poor. One maker that is/was really popular but is now manufacturing completely in China comes to us so damaged that we often can't accept it. Then delivery times are so much longer for the customer.

We are trying to support American makers as much as possible. Some really good ones in addition to the ones already mentioned like Durham and Tom Seely are Colonial (a dead-ringer for PA House's Hallmark Cherry), Nichols and Stone, MacKenzie-Dow, Chatham, Edrich Mills, and on the higher end, Statton.

    Bookmark   May 3, 2005 at 11:42PM
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QBerk, bingo,

Even goods made in the USA are inferior, just as any other product. But to paint Asian goods with a broadbrush as inferior,, is equivalent to what I stated earlier, the Asian automakers beat US manufacturers to the punch interms quality, gas consumption etc... Back in the 70's/80's there was this same outpouring regarding inferior foreign made products... Well, just go ask GM, Ford, Chrysler why they have lost market share since the 70/80's....

Furniture - no differenet,, its coming, deal with it....

P.S. just because a product is stamped "made in USA",, can be deceiving, to say the least.

    Bookmark   May 4, 2005 at 4:47PM
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Goods sourced from China have a poor reputation for quality because they deserve it. Check out the quality of products from mass merchants like Target, Wal-Mart, etc. who are the biggest peddlers of the stuff. Everything is made to a very low price point with a short service life. It is hard to find durable goods at these stores that are made well, let alone overbuilt. So as a consumer, you end up researching and looking elsewhere.

The trend in the furniture industry is increasing sales at stores like Sam's Club and mass merchants and declining sales at local furniture retailers. So the mass merchants are using the same low cost/low quality strategy to sell furniture. As mentioned above, there can be really fine pieces made in China, but most of this is high end and not middle market furniture. All of the $300 "real wood" beds I have seen that are made in China pale in comparison to our $1000 solid, American made, red oak sleigh bed. Its like comparing a Lexus to a Daewoo. Considering that this bed will last us another 50 years and our heirs 100 years after that, the $700 price premium is of no consequence whatsoever.

The car comparison dosen't hold water because some of the highest quality cars made in the world are still assembled here in the USA (Camry, Accord). It is just different managers and engineers using the same hard working assembly people. So far, I have not seen Chinese furniture companies building US plants and hiring US workers.

    Bookmark   May 4, 2005 at 6:12PM
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Just one comment,, do you know how many parts are on your average car and where these parts are made,,where the steel comes from (if it is steel), and to be proud of being able to assemble a car within some robotic line, to me is nothing to toot your horn about...

P.S. More accords are manufactured overseas than domestically.

    Bookmark   May 4, 2005 at 7:47PM
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Actually, I do know all about the parts on my car with 181K miles as I have been buying some lately to keep it in top shape. I enjoy working on cars and keeping them going.

You statements make me think that you are either not an American or work as an importer of Chinese goods. Over 4,000 people in my area work at Toyota making the Tundra, Sequoia, and Sienna. They are generally happy to have jobs making 50K per year with great benefits and good job security. I am happy they all have good jobs and pay taxes and help our local and national economy. We could use more good manufacturing jobs, not less.

Getting back to furniture. I was too bold to say that my oak sleigh bed is like a Lexus. That level of quality would belong to custom made pieces or high-end small manufacturers using more expensive choices of woods, hand rubbed finishes, intricate carvings, etc. One local company in that category is Karges Furniture.

Our Mobel sleigh bed is more like a Camry. Well-made, moderate in price, and built to last. I just wish any car was as reliable as a well-made piece of furniture.

    Bookmark   May 4, 2005 at 10:32PM
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Do the American Furniture Manufacturers owe a debt to the American public as a whole by keeping the manufacturing of higher priced case goods in the U.S.A? The American consumer as their largest customer should say yes.The manufacturing of lower priced case goods was going to be lost to a cheaper labor market anyway.More American manufacturing jobs were lost due to productivity and technical gains than were lost to oursourcing.So now I ask why didn't the the high end American Furniture Manufacturers Modernize their plants and productivity before relocating in China? There is a web site called IRS auctions and they are selling off the equipment of the closed furniture plants. You can see by the low price and worn condition of the equipment that these manufacturers did not modernize and make capital investments into production facilities for quite some time.In times past it used to be the cost of skilled American craftmanship and American furniture grade wood that justified the cost of higher end case goods.But now that many higher end case goods are manufactured in China with who knows what kind of wood what justifies the price?

    Bookmark   May 9, 2005 at 9:29AM
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I'm sorry but I can't let this go.

"You statements make me think that you are either not an American or work as an importer of Chinese goods."

Huh? What a narrow-minded and immature statement to make. I've also bought my fair share of "Made in USA" products that were crap! I've also got a sofa that I've had for 8 years that was manufactured overseas and it's still like brand new. Whether the poster is American or not is irrelevant. The fact that you felt the need to even bring that comment into this otherwise civil discussion is ridiculous and many may question *your* motives. It is ignorant to label all Asian or other foreign produced items for that matter, as junk. Not all things American are superior (deal with it!)and not all non-Americans would agree with the poster "defending" overseas made products. If anyone seriously believes that if it's American made it MUST be great quality, a reality check is very much needed. For the record, I don't agree with sending manufacturing overseas either, whether it be China or anywhere else. To me, the issue first and foremost is the American jobs lost, then I might worry about quality. *waits for the flames!* :)

    Bookmark   May 10, 2005 at 7:30AM
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"It is ignorant to label all Asian or other foreign produced items for that matter, as junk."

Yes, I would agree, but my issue is that, Ethan Allen for example, is still charging relatively high prices for these goods. I can see paying $1,500 for a dresser made in the U.S. but not in China. Plus the issue of delivery time is troubling. I want something in three months, tops, not six or more.

A woman I know wrote a column recently that, although controversial, really rings true with me. Basically she said that Americans and other westerners should stop expecting people in third world countries to make all their crap for them cheap. We are discount whores, plain and simple. How many people do you know who drive out of their way to go to Wal-Mart to save 10 cents on toothpaste?

    Bookmark   May 10, 2005 at 1:01PM
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I agree with you kitchenlover. I could understand it if EA's goal was to pass on reduced costs to consumers but it's all about the profits for these companies. They couldn't give a hoot what the consumer has to deal with in the end. As long as their corporate wallets get fatter everything is fine!

Yes, your point about us being discount whores is so very true! We, as consumers, are driving this trend of manufacturing items cheaply overseas.

    Bookmark   May 10, 2005 at 3:53PM
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Its more or less our own fault. I remember in the 70's talking to union autoworkers who were laughing about putting pop bottles in car doors and doing other things to "screw" the company. Look what happened with foreign imports. They were better made and cheaper. Now with furniture, most people don't want to pay for fine furniture with US labor. Pretty soon China is going to be the next superpower. Every great nation rises and falls. Look at the education system. I had a pretty basic public school education (I'm from Canada) and I swear most days I feel like an intellectual because I can at least spell and string a sentence together that is grammatically correct. The education system here just isn't up to world standards. I know this may offend some but its true. (My DH is American and he sadly acknowledges this.)

    Bookmark   May 10, 2005 at 7:58PM
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I agree with the majority of the other responders, but not just about the economy. Here are our reasons for buying American:

First, it's the economy, stupid. My husband is an ironworker and for the first time in over 10 years, he's not working in May. Wonder why? Not enough new mfg facilities being built, imo. How much longer do you think we can sustain an economy on burger joint and Wal-Mart wages? Some noted economists give it less than a decade.

Second, we cannot control the labor conditions (despite our trying to) in foreign countries. Unions helped make the American workplace one of the safest in the world. And one that paid a living wage. This goes back to the Wal-Mart whore theory. We'll do almost anything for a $10 pair of pants, including putting other people's lives at risk, as long as they're not our neighbors.

Third, we cannot control the environmental damage caused by offshore manufacturers. This is a weak argument, given our own abyssmal record on industrial waste, and Bhopal was caused by good ol' Americans abroad.

Fourth, all economies (imo, and currently counterintuitive) are micro first, then macro. IOW, it's not just a global economy. Here in rustbelt central, where we hemorage (spel?) young people every June, it's a heartbreaking reality. It most towns you can no longer get essentially everything you need within a few blocks. Life has gotten way too complicated, but I have a feeling it's gonna get way simpler, way fast.

Finally, quality. Last, but not least, is the fact that in many cases, the quality *frequently* just isn't the same.

How can we stop this?

Buy local (and organic, btw)
Buy American
Insist on fair trade products and living wages
If you're a shareholder (or even if you're just a purchaser of products), hold your companies accountable
Ask yourself if you really need it and if you do, can you make do w/ something you have at home.

    Bookmark   May 10, 2005 at 10:05PM
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My motives. More Americans with good jobs and decent wages who work hard, pay their taxes, are decent citizens, etc. Less disposable durable products that waste resources and end up in our landfills in a few short years. A country that has budget surpluses and is paying down our huge debt.

If one has a choice to purchase two equally well-made sofas and one is made in the US and one is made in another country, then purchasing the sofa made in the US does more for achieving that goal. For a given skill level, manufacturing jobs pay more and have better benefits than service jobs and thus help the economy more and promote higher standards of living. In addition, manufacturing plants spawn a host of supplier related jobs that often locate close to their customers. Toyota is a great example of this in our area.

It is not narrow minded to recognize that someone living in one country dosen't really care what happens to a laid-off worker in another country. Chinese factory workers, for example, do not pay wage taxes to help their laid-off American counterparts, nor would they want to. So although we talk about a global economy, we are still citizens of our respective countries and can try to improve what is going on around us.

I do not advocate taking away your freedom of choice to buy what you want (assuming it is legal). I am merely pointing out that there are some great products still made in the USA and to consider buying them.

Forgive me for signaling out China as a producer of sub-standard goods. They just happen to be the current source of much of it. The ture blame lies with the various multi-national companies putting their stamp on such disposable junk and having such low standards or quality. Unfortunately, we our now overwhelmed with so many low quality goods that it is hard for the consumer to find well-made products.

    Bookmark   May 11, 2005 at 4:11PM
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What is interesting to me is when people look at a situation not realizing all parameters. Ethan Allen reduced their pricing across the board last year to pass on savings to clients, contrary to previous posts and was able to do that according to press releases because of efficiencies realized in US factories. 70% of their product is made domestically. Also, that hand carved dresser that is $1500-2000 at Ethan Allen if it was made in the US would be $5-10,000 due to the labor of the carving. Nobody likes to look at it from that perspective. We all want the best and most beautiful but nobody wants to pay for it. If you could get better or the same bulbs from Asia for half the price of those from Holland or the US wouldn't you? We are all very much willing to take stands on things, but how many of you have TV's or electronics from overseas? Hmmmm...that is okay though? And that computer that you are looking at this on?... I know mine came direct from China, Fedex label and all...bought from a good American company.

Last night, I had some fruit from South America bought at a big warehouse club, but my money employs the people at that store and the shipping that got it to the store as well as all of the customs and other officials that have to check it.

I am as worried about American jobs as the next guy, but it really comes down to us and our desire to buy goods for the best price available regardless where it comes from.

Those that look for made in the USA, I applaud and encourage, but don't tell everyone else how bad they are unless all of your items are from the US.

Good Luck to all in your planting...and better check where that fertilizer and tools are coming from.

    Bookmark   May 25, 2005 at 8:26PM
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Exactly furnitureed,

my point of view, was the following:

1. If furniture being made/shipped from China, is so bad, why do the American companies allow shoddy qaulity and whom is doing their quality control???? Whom trained these people? I would venture a guess,,, U.S. manufacturers turn a blind eye.

2. We see the same outrage with quality now with furniture as was with auto's, electronics,...and before autos,, textiles, paper industry, and garmet industry....We all heard claims of shabby quality etc.

Bottom line,,, america has the R & D, technoogy,,, however, others will make it better, quicker, and at a more reasonable price for the manufacturer....

Deal with it; its not going away,, Fortune 500 have realized the U.S. market is saturated..

    Bookmark   May 26, 2005 at 8:16AM
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One of the great things about the internet is that it can help the consumer make more informed decisions. Here is a simple example.

Furniture company A (American, Chinese, whatever) makes a mahogany bed with wood from an unknown source. A large retailer peddles it and provides little or no documented information about the piece. A quick search of the internet by a potential customer shows that substantial amounts of genuine mahogany are stolen from forests in South America. So the consumer who doesn't want to purchase stolen goods moves on to another furniture company or retailer or maybe even gets their bed made by a local craftsman who uses certified lumber.

In the world of multi-national companies and big box retailers, full disclosure is very rare. Why? Because some of the dishonest or illegal issues might kill the sale. In addition, retail jobs have very high turnover and don't attract people who might invest the time and energy to fully understand their products.

It all comes down to trust. Trust in any companies product is earned over time. So it is not surprising when a new furniture company (or an old one with new factories) in a foreign country doesn't gain the trust of the US consumer. No one likes to be the guinea pig with big purchases.

    Bookmark   May 26, 2005 at 6:37PM
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While I will agree with you jrdwyer that nobody likes to be a guinea pig there are huge risks involved for a company to move anything overseas. I agree full disclosure doesn't happen as often as any of us would like, but I also must say that as unfortunate as it might be, the rest of the world doesn't play by the rules that the US puts on itself. From what we might call labor regulation violations to even logging practices, we love to put our standards on others. I am not saying that I believe they are right but if some group in Bolivia decided that the stripping of gravel from the Earth was unhealthy for the environment or some other such thing would we suddenly stop all gravel pits and regulate it to the point that each load was indiviually tagged?

I recently talked to a gentleman who is an American living and working in a factory in China. He explained that in all reality that labor standards in China have changed to some extent due to the fact of large American corporations dictating that they will be in compliance or will not manufacture goods for them. He also told me that some of the US companies have reps there that have quality control experience with the US company to oversea QC inspections all along the processes.

Once again my humble opinion but obviously this subject intrigues me as there are no easy answers that will solve the problems.

    Bookmark   May 30, 2005 at 11:36PM
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Participation in the WTO implies that countries are playing by the rules. I agree that many countries do not (including the US). The solution then is to either boot out those countries that cheat or just abolish the WTO altogether.

The US has the advantage in that we are the worlds major market for selling goods. We would have the upper hand in any trading deals (except maybe oil) if it came down to one-on-one negotiation.

I mentioned the stolen timber issue because many people assume that what they purchase in a store is legitimate or not containing stolen materials. This is not always true.

Read the link if you are interested. It comes from Duke University. You can find many more such articles with any internet search using the words "stolen timber."

Here is a link that might be useful: Stolen Mahogany

    Bookmark   May 31, 2005 at 6:15PM
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To me it's more karma than dogma, to use an already-hoary expression.

There is no way of knowing exactly where your goods come from unless you grow or make them yourself. BUT, you can be an educated consumer, as jrdwyer so deftly pointed out above. It pays to research, research, research in these days of greenwashing.

And, it isn't to say that an American made product is better, but all things being equal, buying local can only help the local economy.

I do my part (I think :) ) to help out the world economy, but I also think that my refusal to buy the crippy crappy stuff from W**MRT, et al, while it may not be the best answer in the short run, really does make a difference in the long run. And that's what I'm aiming for.

No high horses here (despite how it might sound), just one person trying to make a difference one decision at a time, though those decisions are not always perfect, not always just, and decidely not logical.

On another, slightly unrelated note. I just bought a matelasse (?) blanket this weekend that was labeled as "over 100 years old". Is it? Not sure, but it is beautiful and warm and smells of old, good things and it's still quite sturdy. I had good dreams last night, under that old blanket. Can we say the same of our blue light specials????

Here is a link that might be useful: Ooh, here's food for thought!

    Bookmark   May 31, 2005 at 6:58PM
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I disagree that there is a country on earth that makes products better and faster than the U.S.A. The only reason they can make them cheaper is not the slave wages they pay but they do not have to contend with; eniromental law,OSHA,taxes,lawsuits,workman's compensation and other insurances,benefits of any kind,and the thousands of other government regulations.The Fortune 500 CEO's are selling out the American middle class for stock options.But these shortsighted rich morons are destroying their own customer base.The furniture companies that relocated manufacturing to China are the most profitable.If Eathen Allen gave their customers a small reduction in price that is commendable, but I really doubt 70% of there goods are manufactured in the USA.A hand carved dresser can be made for $1500-$2000 in the USA with a computerized copy router.Why would Any body buy a computer made in China when there are well made,inexpensive,high quality computers assembled in the Usa? At least Dell is expanding their manufacturing in the USA.Also many electronics are made in the USA from foreign countries.[eg. Sony Tv's made in USA.]The countries of Asia are great imitaters not innovators which is one of the reasons Japan has been in a recession for so long.If the USA would just enforce the trade laws it has that would solve everything.

    Bookmark   June 2, 2005 at 10:09AM
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A dresser carved by a computerized copy router is not hand carved. To some this makes a difference.

    Bookmark   June 3, 2005 at 1:50AM
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Hand carved 100% solid mahogany Queen Anne Poster Bed= JUNK

I remember when all wood and hard carved meant quality hardwoods and craftsman detailing. Now it means rubberwood and crude carvings by slave wage (actualy the term slave wage is more than a little misleading. I don't remember hearing about slaves earning a penny) laborers. I also remember when mahogany implied an expensive well crafted piece of furniture. Now that word is a dead giveaway for South American ravaged forest.
I do look to see if items are stamped Made in China, but I also check out the construction and finish of the product. Usually those are a dead give away to the items origins. My problem isn't paying cheap prices for cheap furniture. It's paying high prices for *cheap* furniture. That's why I don't shop at EA. Well, that and the consistently rude sales people.

At the same time, some US companies need to realize they are competing with a global market. With smaller companies, they continue to charge high prices for merchandise that is out dated. Ever go into one of those Oak (fill in the blank) stores? Bland styling and high prices. The US companies that will succeed will have to carve out a niche for themselves and serve it well. Stickly and Romwebber are two companies that come to mind.
One last rant, don't assume that heirloom furniture you buy will be passed on through the generations or even last you for 50+ years. Styles change.

    Bookmark   June 3, 2005 at 8:50AM
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Listen to a European - American comapnies have it made in many US states - little or no paid vacation, sick pay or employee rights. It is all geared towards the employer compared with Europe. In mnny states you can fire someone at will - just try that in Europe and see what happens.

Now the reason car manufacturers have plants in other countries is to escape quota restrictions either existing or that might be imposed. If Honda has a European plant that vehicle is not an import any more so it can escape quotas. Japanese manufacturers would rather have a plant in E Europe than America or even Germany as health an pension costs are crippling businesses in the US. Just look at Ford for example.

People have grown used to paying crazy prices for goods as fashion has dictated constant change that was not the case for the average person years ago. Fewer people want their bed or fridge to last 20 years - I certainly don't. Plus how many people won't or can't afford more than $10 for a shirt?

When you buy a $1.99 string of Christmas lights how many people ask how it is possible to make them for that? Do they know it is the result of using prisoners in the Chinese Gulags? Or that the health and safety issues are of no concern? No they just think that they can buy a whole lot more lights than they did. If a bulb breaks it's cheaper to buy a new string than one bulb...

People will not pay for the price for domestic products. I wore $500 English shoes made in England - same type made abroad would have been far, far less. What are you prepared to pay? We have to get used to not manufacturing any more except niche products - Britain used to produce shoes, coal, steel, cutlery and clothes for the world - not any more but other industries have taken over.

Remember too how investors drive companies these days. Walmart's treatment of employees is shameful yet it delights investors yet Costco who has great employee relations is criticised for not maximising it's profits.

Plus the additional profit made by US companies use of foreign labour is taxed in the US not overseas....

You live in a free market economy but whinge when it works

    Bookmark   June 3, 2005 at 1:05PM
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The sun set on the Bitish Empire when they became free traders. What is killing Europe is the the high cost of social programs and taxes. Most American companies no longer have the dedicated pension programs such as Ford but have 401K pensions instead.The average American pays $1200.00 a year contribution towards health care.American companies are not becoming crippled because they are not paying the full tab.I would rather pay $1200.00 into the best medical program on earth than pay 50% in taxes and have rationed socialized medicine like they have in Europe. Some body has to be getting fired or laid off in Europe because of the high unemployment rate. New Balance is making athletic shoes in the $70 to $110 range in the USA. Moreover I do not think it is cheaper to produce a car in Japan than in the USA. A Japanese auto worker is not paid peanuts. Also the low birth rate and aging population of Japan is going to be a drag on the economy because of their lack of social programs for the elderly. But any way what does this have to do with furniture? I think well made classic designed furniture will never go out of style. Have any of you watched MTV's Cribs show and witnessed what kind of furniture is in the sucessful rappers home? It is well made classically designed American case goods and upholstery. Throw away furniture is not going to last[except as starter furniture] because today's youth is going to learn how to fix things and that includes furniture and you cannot refinish particle board.I think America's youth are eventially going to want to purchase a well made American piece of furniture just like was in their parents home.

    Bookmark   June 6, 2005 at 11:58PM
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First of all thanks to those who posted names of quality furniture makers in America. I wish I had read this forum before I spent $2.5K for a Thomasville bed. I was explicitly told it was made in NC on two separate occasions. It arrived two days ago with made in China plastered all over it! Alas, back it goes to Thomasville...or is that Shanghai?? Why? Because it wasn't what I ordered and honestly...the finish work was not perfect. Detail is everything!

FYI - I drive a Honda and it is perfect! Chinese goods are cheap not well made (Econ don't get something for nothing). I have nothing against low quality items (plenty under my sink and in the garage..I just don't wish to display them or sleep in them).

So, if I want a superior quality sleigh bed made by craftsmen who pay attention to detail who do I talk to??



    Bookmark   June 7, 2005 at 1:13AM
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I am exactly in the same position as you are. I too drive a Honda and have no problem spending money on quality products irrespective of where they are made but certainly will not pay high prices for cheap quality.
I also have Thomasville furniture. Some of these I bought a few years ago and some I purchased fairly recently. I was told this was made in NC. After reading this thread I am trying to find out where it was made. I have looked at all possible nooks and corners but cannot find it. I do find the Thomasville logo but cannot see where they were made. These pieces include a King bed, China cabinet and Cocktail tables. I am satisfied with the quality but would like to know to stay informed.
I also own Henredon and I recommend you check out their styles as they seem to be very well built and pay attention to detail.

    Bookmark   June 9, 2005 at 6:05AM
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I must admit, our Mobel heirloom quality oak furniture may not be what our son wants in 30 years. So he sells it and some astute buyer gets great furniture for half off retail. In our area, poorly made furniture has very low resale value whereas well-made furniture has good resale value.

This whole notion of disposable durable goods is part of what is driving manufacturing to the lowest wage countries and causing many people not to trust the retailers. A simple example. I bought a metal ice cream scoop from Target that I thought would last forever. Well, I did not look closely enough when buying because there was a concealed plastic connector between two metal parts and it snapped after a year. In the garbage it went and my money was wasted. The next scoop came from a speciality retailer and will last forever. In the long run, well-made durable products save you money, use fewer resources, and can actually keep jobs in higher wage countries.

    Bookmark   June 9, 2005 at 12:09PM
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Funny how things change, When I was growing up, "Made in Japan" was anathema. And then "Made in Japan" came to mean very high quality. And now little is made in Japan.

I believe it is a Korean automaker that now leads in initial vehicle quality, and Mercedes has dropped to the bottom.

No such thing as stasis in manufacturing anywhere.

    Bookmark   June 9, 2005 at 5:49PM
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I read a lot about the quality of Chinese made furniture being equal to US made pieces. I am sure this applies to the low end of the market. I don't really look at high end stuff, so I don't know much about that. But when I go to furniture stores or big boxes and look at the medium quality furniture, I don't see heirloom quality details on Chinese made pieces. Things like solid oak/maple/cherry edge glued panels, nice moulding details, drawers that slide easily and won't break. Instead I see veneer over particleboard, lots of rubberwood, drawers that slide poorly, and few trim mouldings. One must compare apples to apples to fully guage the price and quality differences between different furniture manufacturers. Granted, many consumers don't bother to look at the fine details and are focused on the price tag and thus the rise in low wage country sourcing.

    Bookmark   June 10, 2005 at 8:55AM
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The Federal Trade Commission enforces claims that a particular good is "Made in the USA." Here's a link to the FTC web site with information about reporting fraud.

Here is a link that might be useful: FTC Enforcement of

    Bookmark   August 15, 2005 at 3:36PM
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The majority of today's consumers are looking for catch phrases when they buy items "Leather Couch", "Stainless Steel appliance" and they want them as inexpensive as possible. They are not willing to pay more for quality. Therefore, companies will give them what they want. The same mentality, unfortunately, has made its way into the furniture industry-and not just the low end, but also into the middle and mid-to-high.

    Bookmark   August 21, 2005 at 11:42PM
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Hello, I discovered this thread which is very relevant to us in terms of an actual purchasing decision. We are trying to purchase bedroom furniture and are struggling between Martha Stewart Signature by Bernhardt (expensive, seems to be well-made with dovetailed drawers, etc., but is made in China), and Restoration Hardware (even more expensive, well-made, made in USA). We prefer the styling of the Martha Stewart furniture but have concerns that it is made in China. The MS pieces also use veneer over "furniture board" (I think this means MDF or something similar), whereas the RH pieces use veneer over solid maple wood. All comments, insight, advice appreciated!

    Bookmark   September 28, 2005 at 10:07AM
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arlingbound, much depends on what you want to do with this furniture. If you want it to last a long time and be able to give it to your children/whoever, the choice is clear. If you want to make a statement with your purchase, the choice is clear as well. Since you state that you merely "prefer" the MS styling, it doesn't sound like you're giving up a lot to go with the RH furniture.

    Bookmark   September 28, 2005 at 6:28PM
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Interestingly, I was recently shopping for a new sofa and recliner. When I made a joke about the "Made in Indonesia" label on the back of a cabinet (marked on the front as "made in Virginia"), the salesman peeled the "Indonesia" label off RIGHT IN FRONT OF ME and chuckled!

Needless to say, I did not buy from that store!

    Bookmark   July 24, 2006 at 4:42AM
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I would stop buying this junk that is shipped in from overseas also. I have been to stores that they tell you the furniture is solid wood and it is really just particle board. Don't settle for the poor quality being shipped in. Try to find that which is still made in the USA. Email m e back if you need suggestion on where to shop for good quality stores, I am familiar with the uppers Illinois and Wisconsin areas, but could try to help in other areas of the country.

    Bookmark   July 24, 2006 at 1:46PM
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DON'T BUY IT!!! I have been in the furniture manufacturing industry for 13 years, and the stuff form China, Korea, and South America is sub-standard.I have seen it, fixed it, and re-designed it.And thanks to the greediness of Furniture Brands, La-Z-Boy, Baker, Bernhardt, Henredon and others a lot of good people (my friends), thousands in Hickory and Lenoir alone are out of work. China and S. Korea are getting better, but nothing like the American version. I love the people of western North Carolina, and if you could see how they bust their backs to make furniture and make it right you would too. Please consider something made in America if you can find it.

    Bookmark   August 16, 2006 at 4:00PM
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Political correctness is fine. Foolish purchasing decisions are not fine. There's nothing wrong in deciding not to buy furniture made in China, especially so-called high-end furniture, since it's crystal clear that the Chinese furniture manufacturers can't hold a candle to American craftspeople. I speak from experience ---

We bought a PA House Hallmark Cherry Hutch in about 1983; I presume it was made in PA, or at least in the US, it's lasted wonderfully. In 1999 we moved into a house and finally had room for a dining set. Since PA House was still making the same collection, we bought a matching table, 6 side chairs, 2 arm chairs and a mobile server. I wish we had known La-Z-Boy had outsourced this wonderful product to China. It took almost 3/4 of a year for delivery. Within 3 weeks, the woods in the table swelled so that with leaves in the table, there are very noticeable gaps on the table surface. Within two months, every chair had mild to severe splits in the wood backs. And the surface of the mobile server (which open up like a book to provide a large serving surface) warped so that one "leaf" stands up at the back while the other stands up at the front. Charming crap, they make in China. My months of complaints to PA House/La-Z-Boy went unanswered. I had to file a complaint with the North Carolina Attorney General's Office - only then did the company respond, and then only to the AG's Office. The letter signed by Yvette Nixon of PA House, was dated 9/27/06. Ms. Nixon said PA House would repair the furniture and would contact me. It's now 10/5/06. I still haven't heard from Ms. Nixon, have you?



    Bookmark   October 5, 2006 at 11:30PM
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In this month's issue of Smart Money (10/06) there is an interesting article on what pieces of %$#@ Pottery Barn, Restoration Hardware and Crate & Barrel are foisting on the American public (who have fallen for this hook, line and sinker). Apparently, while prices have risen dramatically, quality has not risen at all. While I have never thought these pieces were heirloom quality, to see them called disposable furniture lines was rather surprising.

    Bookmark   October 6, 2006 at 2:45PM
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I recently moved back to the United States after spending 15 years in Sweden (Married a Swede and had a family, good reason to stay ;) )

The irony is that after buying a poorly run furniture manufacturing and wholesale company out in Utah, I shut down all Chinese operations, and after restructuring (you know firing everybody and staring over), I have set up a cottage industry network of smaller craft-works in various materials. Yeah my margins really stink, and yes I can't warehouse product to provide a two week order/delivery window, but I can provide Hand crafted in the USA goods.

I inherited a couple of mid-end lines which are slowly creeping up in price points. I will most likely have to raise prices two more times before they can settle at inflation. Most likely around a 15% increase over the next 18 months. Not bad when considering I am willing to settle for a %50 total markup before cost. Allows me to squeeze 9-12% net. I look at it this way. As a privately owned manufacturer, I am not beholden to the Wall Market analysts who spout should a's, musts and expecteds about how my business will do. I learned a long time ago that a profit is a profit and as long as I am able to make a profit, than I will remain in business.

In any case, I honestly think that in about 20 years it is going to bite all of those companies in the rear end since now many of them are fleeing China and moving to Vietnam and Malaysia to circumvent the Anti-Dumping tariffs that Chinese production carries with it.

Ironically all of the retailers I talk to are really excited about my shift in production philosophy. They all are screaming for a bona fide USA product. I talked to an interior decorator a few days ago who specializes in lamps (We are working on developing a high end accessory line) and he said clearly that when they can get electrical components for lamps out of Mexico, they grab them all up because they are better quality than those made in China.

There is no substitute for hand craftsmanship. Sure machines make life easier at the factory, but those little touches, chisel marks and uneven veins found on hand made case goods can't be replaced by those who value quality.

    Bookmark   April 12, 2007 at 11:36PM
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I look at it this way. As a privately owned manufacturer, I am not beholden to the Wall Market analysts who spout should a's, musts and expecteds about how my business will do. I learned a long time ago that a profit is a profit and as long as I am able to make a profit, than I will remain in business.

The other side of the coin for me, as an independent dealer, is my best suppliers feel the same way. So they've become stagnant. Their best designs are often more than 10 years old. And I'm talking about contemporary furniture! One vendor says proudly he's so efficient he could make a profit with only $1 million in annual sales. He does quite a lot more than that of course. But I don't need a supplier who thinks like that, who would allow such stagnation to be an option of a possible future.

Don't fall into that trap. The only thing worse for a retailer than a poor business climate, is a lack of product to create business with. We've all but stopped buying floor samples until our vendors give us something worth investing in. This means we will probably be exiting certain segments of our business, and transform into just a few specialty categories. I'd rather have nothing on the floor than product that makes me look like an also-ran.

If you're not growing business and the business model, then you don't have a product that will create business and you won't have customers for long.

Sorry to unload on you. In 15 years I have never been more disappointed in my vendors. I hope you're doing more. Good luck to you.

    Bookmark   April 14, 2007 at 6:17PM
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I have resorted to looking for used furniture in the high end lines. I need a Jeffco chair set and all of their new products are MFG overseas. There are still a lot of us out there that are very disappointed in the quality of the product put out by furniture companies trading on their old reputation for quality. I hope for a change in the near future because most of what is available isn't worth the price.

    Bookmark   April 15, 2007 at 1:43PM
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Threads like this make me so cranky. There are things that can logically be imported/exported because of regional expertise or availability of the required natural resources. But mostly now it's about making it as cheaply as possible. It just seems crazy to me that on the one hand we are being encouraged to install CFLs and drive Prius's but on the other hand when we go shopping we usually end up with something that was transported ridiculously long distances, too bad about the effect of that on the environment. Here in Australia our cotton and wool gets transported twice, once over to wherever it can be processed cheaply and then back to us. Stupid! Sad to hear that the same sort of thing is happening elsewhere and skilled people are losing their jobs.

Something we were upset to find out recently. Dining suites labelled Made in Australia sometimes have chairs made in China. Read the fine print and ask lots of questions. Annoying thing is our table is in good condition and if we can't find one we really like we'll only need to replace the chairs.

    Bookmark   April 16, 2007 at 10:22AM
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"Dining suites labelled Made in Australia sometimes have chairs made in China. Read the fine print and ask lots of questions."

So true.

I've been looking at bedroom furniture and asking a LOT of questions. One store told me that everything they have is Made in the USA. After an hour in there we noticed a kid's bed that looked nice, but you could see the screws right on the outer part of the footboard. My husband asked why they didn't cover that, or at least paint them white to match the bed? Even Sauder has covers for their screws...then the salesman slipped and said it was done in China. Huh? He told us that all of the pieces/parts are manufactured in the US, then shipped to China for assembly. As long as the PARTS are made here, they can claim "Made in USA" status.


    Bookmark   January 21, 2008 at 12:08AM
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Very few things are top to bottom made in the US. Many US made components are used in Chinese made products, and many Chinese made parts are used in US made products.

I still find it hard to believe this country made such a fuss over NAFTA and at the same time turned a blind eye over the last ten years as our factories were sent to China instead.

    Bookmark   January 21, 2008 at 9:57AM
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We very recently bought two furniture sets. Office furniture made by Hooker and a Young America Bedroom suite made by Stanley. The Hooker furniture looked good in the store, (I noticed after delivery it's now made in China) but definitely leaves a lot to be desired as far as quality goes. The finish won't hold up, that I'm sure of, and a few of the drawers could line up better. The Stanley furniture is a mix of U.S and Chinese. The case goods are of U.S. origin of reasonable quality and the crib is Chinese and appears reasonably well made as well. I had wised up a little when we bought the childrens bedroom furniture and was able to at least purchase some items made in the U.S. Hooker is all overseas now, as they closed their last U.S. plant. Part of the reason I bought Hooker was that they had (in the not too distant past) a reputation for nice mid-priced furniture. I noticed after I purchased the office furniture that Simply Amish makes nice office furniture made here in the U.S. - a missed opportunity on my part. We also recently purchased a nice quality rocker made in N.C. from a furniture store we found that only sells U.S. made goods - mostly from small manufacturers.

Having bought a good deal of furniture over the last decade - it's seems nothing less than a fact that chinese sourced goods are generally of sub-par quality with poorer quality control, and while there can be cheaply U.S. made furniture, it's generally better made with better Q.C. before shipment.

    Bookmark   March 2, 2008 at 11:15AM
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I will never buy furniture made in China again after my furniture disaster with Stanley Manufacturing and I will never buy from a retail store again that does not check over the quality before delivering it to me in such a mismatched damaged state.

Here is a link that might be useful: Stanley Furniture made in China was a DISASTER

    Bookmark   March 2, 2008 at 2:26PM
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I saw your thread on what Stanley sent you - it was shocking to say the least. The pieces that we bought from Stanley, although in much better shape than what you received, are slightly mismatched color-wise, it makes sense now - different plants probably made the pieces.

I will say it's hard to find a convertible crib made in the U.S. The furniture store we found that only sells U.S. goods had none and had no suppliers who made/sold them.

We'll be looking for a light maple or natural cherry entertainment center and family room coffee/end tables later this year. I doubt they'll be from Stanley - I'll look around and pay a little more for better quality items made here.

    Bookmark   March 2, 2008 at 8:36PM
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Re; Nichols and Stone Furniture.. they are no longer making all there furniture either (I found this out in 2006 while purchasing my dining room.

Nichols & Stone closing plant
By Staff
Publication: Furniture Today
Date: Monday, February 6 2006

You are viewing page 1
Gardner, Mass. Nichols & Stone will close its Brady plant in Rural Hall, N.C., this spring and consolidate its bedroom manufacturing into its main factory in Massachusetts.

After phasing down production, the plant will close in May, affecting 82 employees.
"A lot of it had to do with offshore competition," said Peter Guilbault, manager of marketing services.
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Nichols & Stone will continue to make some bedroom furniture in Massachusetts, while other pieces will be imported, the company said.
Nichols & Stone was founded in 1857 and is one of the country's oldest furniture manufacturers. It purchased the Brady facility in 1998.
The company said affected employees will receive a severance package and employment assistance.

    Bookmark   March 4, 2008 at 7:31AM
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If American companies wish to outsource their goods to China, they should have a team of Americans there to supervise the production to make sure it is up to par. But this is just not happening... how sad.

    Bookmark   March 21, 2008 at 1:30AM
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Barcalounger, bankrupt,started getting the parts from China, soft steel, warrenties broke the Co. i HAVE BEEN SHOPPING FOR A NEW DUAL RECLINER FOR 2 WEEKS AND I THINK I will start looking foe an old used LazyBoy or Barcalounger and have it reuphostered

    Bookmark   March 6, 2011 at 1:01AM
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American made product:
Most higher end upholstry is still made in North Carolina;
Hancock & Moore, Henredon, Century, Taylor King, Sherrill and Stickley. (Some do leather sew ups in other countries on some leather goods)
Casegoods Manufacters
Century (85% made in USA, some decoritive products are shipped in).
Henredon (casegoods primarly made in Columbia/Honduras South America then finished in N.C)
Stickley made in New York State (except for 5 lines made in Vietnam, and hand carved chairs in Vietnam which represents a small amount of their product).
Council Craftsman made in USA.
Henkle Harris made in USA.
Hickory Chair made in USA
Hickory White (primarly made in USA)
Maitland Smith, very high end decortive items and furniture made and alway been made in the Phillipins (Spanish Style).
Theodore Alexander, high end decoritive items and furniture made and alway made in Vietnam (French style)
LaBarge, high end mirror and occasional maker, Italy, lower end China
I could go on and on but this gets you the best of the best.
If I did not mention it, then it probable was not worth mentioning it.

    Bookmark   March 26, 2011 at 3:53PM
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I recently ordered a leather chair from Drexel Heritage. I was not aware they had started manufacturing in China. I was just fortunate to have received the piece still in the box so I could be alerted of the fact. I unpacked the box to find a chair of such poor quality (stitching coming loose, uneven coloration of the leather, areas of damage to leather on multiple locations). After paying 2000 dollars for this chair to say I was disappointed would be an understatement. This looked like something I would have found at a discount store. The store gave me an option of reordering a new one. After reading these posts I will tell them I am not interested. Thanks for providing the listings of companies still manufacturing in the US.

    Bookmark   March 26, 2011 at 7:42PM
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Check out the website:

you can add Saloom & Riverside Furniture to the list.

    Bookmark   March 27, 2011 at 6:25PM
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I want to add, that if you have a carved chair frame from a highend manufactuer, it may be handcarved in Italy as most are, if you have a handcarved headboard, probably done in the Phillipines, as it always has been done there. Metal and stone have almost always been imported because of labor cost historically. Nothing wrong with these imports because they are so expensive to do state side, they have alway been imported. But not from China.

    Bookmark   March 30, 2011 at 8:43AM
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It's very difficult to find bedroom or dining room furniture that is not made in China.

There are quite a few Upholstery products still made in this country, I think for the simple reason that it isn't that easy to special order a sofa have it made in China and ship it at a reasonable cost and in a timeley manner back to the US. That's not to say that there are not quite a few companies importing sofas from China.

The sofas from China are generally found at large retailers or catalog stores where it is practicle to purchase container loads. The clue to this when shopping for upholstery is if the sofa is offered in a few fabric or leather options rather than a wide variety of choices.

    Bookmark   June 30, 2013 at 9:05PM
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Agree with freethinker here. For upholstered product, there is still a lot of US made product. Even on the low-end/ready made stuff, you have Simmons Upholstery(aka United Furniture) producing stuff down in Mississippi to compete with Ashley. Companies like Best Home Furnishings (Indiana, 16th largest US based furniture manufacturer) and Klaussner (North Carolina, 4th largest US based furniture manufacturer) are a step up from low end, are made in the US, and source most of their components domestically, the exception being fabric and leather. A step up from that you have smaller, more boutique companies like Smith Brothers (Indiana) and Lancer (North Carolina), and there are many more. People just need to look at more than the Broyhill's, Lane's, and Laz-y-boy's of the world and you can actually get US made product and not just imported or US assembled only product. The one thing that few if any upholstery companies can do is source fabric or leather domestically as there just is not much of it available.

    Bookmark   July 21, 2014 at 2:15PM
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