Retailer Danish Inspirations Sees Higher Demand for Domestic Furniture

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Houston furniture retailer Danish Inspirations experiences a higher demand for quality North American made products. Owner attributes rising shipping costs, higher raw material costs, and quality control issues.

When Danish Inspirations Modern Furniture of Houston, Texas opened its doors in 1982 the furniture market was vastly different than it is today with much of the change coming in the past decade. Long before the Euro Dollar came on to the scene, owner Jan Christiansen imported literally all of his product line from well known European manufacturers with lengthy track records for producing quality merchandise. The main source of the company’s imports were Denmark, Italy, Norway, and France but all of that was about to change.

In what seemed to be a mass exodus, well established manufacturers left their home lands to set up production in China, Thailand, Vietnam and Malaysia in hopes of competing on the emerging world market. Makers like Natuzzi Leather of Italy founded in the 1950’s with a focus on cutting edge original designs and a strong sense of “made in Italy” pride found themselves setting up production in both China and Brazil. In the years between 2000 and 2010, many others joined suit and the explosion of production especially in China hit a high while the quality control seemed to limp along at a far lower level at times, says Jan Christiansen.

In more recent times, however, the rising cost and often shortage of raw materials overseas, shipping costs, and tariffs aimed specifically at categories of Chinese furniture products have helped level the playing field and the demand for North American products is definitely on the incline. There are two significant reasons why retailers want domestic products to regain their former sales levels, and they include the logistical challenges of flowing goods from across the world with four month ordering cycles, thereby increasing the inventory costs, and the increased service and warranty claims that are directly attributed to poorly made products.

So going forward Mr. Christian says, “We will focus on offering as much quality made domestic products as we can, which are in more demand now and more accessible than the much cheaper off shore products we focused on in the past. The old saying holds true, you get what you pay for, especially in the durable goods that you use on a daily basis”.

Danish Inspirations 2775 Fondren Road Houston, Texas 77063 713-782-4911.

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John Kyle
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