Impressions from the Guadalajara Furniture Expo
Our team traveled for the first time to Guadalajara Mexico for the biannual Furniture Expo. We are told the February market is stronger than the August one, and we were blown away by the crowds, energy and enthusiasm for strong business this year.
Following Covid years with no Expo, plus supply chain challenges, Mexico now has a terrific opportunity to near-shore upholstery and casegoods, offering comparable prices, at speedier delivery times, with reliable quality, and ability to offer special order and change orders more easily. This sentiment was pervasive among exhibitors, who feel the momentum shifting their way.
The halls were filled with companies offering contemporary upholstery and plenty of casual/outdoor offerings. We noted the smaller scale of many of the SKUs due to smaller homes in Central America and the use of more colors and varying raw materials, such as plastic and other synthetics.
Many American furniture providers were there seeking reliable vendors, hedging against the country risk issues with China and the skyrocketed container costs of 2022. However, many CEOS were quoting $1,000 container rates from Asia currently, and wondering if there was even a need for reshoring now. How quickly some forget the pain of the $20k+ containers, slow downs, harbor delays, and demurrage fees. We suspect prudent retailers will have a balanced and well diversified sourcing strategy going forward.
We found Guadalajara to be an engaging city of 8 million people with wonderful food, good roads and infrastructure, nice nonstop flights to many USA cities, and an abundance of furniture manufacturers and suppliers and available labor. Make sure to keep Guadalajara and all of Mexico on your watch list of growing areas for furniture.
There will be a lot of deals to be done in Mexico in the coming years. Interested in buying or selling a business in Mexico? Give us a call!