Posted June 30, 2020

Woodworking industry sees solid recovery from pandemic

Woodworking Network survey shows 46 percent of respondents never slowed down at all. 

A survey conducted by Woodworking Network reveals most woodworking manufacturers managed to stay open or have returned to full production after a shutdown in the COVID-19 crisis.

Nearly half of woodworking plants responding said they managed to stay open at full production throughout the crisis. Another 12 percent are back to full production after having been shut down at some point. An additional 12 percent are at 75-percent production levels, and 13 percent say they are at between 50 and 75-percent production.

Only about 10 percent of manufacturers responding said they are at under 50-percent production levels. Only 3-percent are still shut down but hope to reopen soon, and only 2 percent permanently closed their doors as a result of the pandemic.

In general, the industry is surprisingly optimistic about business moving forward, with many reporting enthusiastic comments such as, "Business is booming." More than 34 percent reported they experienced some impact short term, but they expected to make a full recovery.

About a fifth of respondents said they suffered a significant impact short term but are recovering. Some 19 percent said they suffered major negative impacts from the crisis and are uncertain about the future. But nearly 16 percent said they saw no impact at all from the pandemic.

One respondent commented, "Our business has spiked. People are home and realizing they hate their kitchens."

Manufacturers of kitchen cabinets, bath and custom cabinets made up about a third of the respondents to the survey. Most woodworking industry segments were proportionally represented, including architectural woodwork (14 percent), residential furniture (7 percent), commercial furniture (8 percent), and other wood products (11 percent).

Not surprisingly, the pandemic has forced many woodworking businesses to make changes to reopen and continue their operations. Nearly 69 percent have adopted social distancing policies for staff and 58 percent have instituted social distancing for the public.

The survey was sent by email to the Woodworking Network audience of 41,000. A total of 216 responses came in, which represents a margin of error of 5.59 percent with a 90 percent confidence level on the data received.

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