Semi-finished product quality inspection video
Spraying incoming material quality inspection
Another contraction strategy that was obvious to us was the relative lack of sales promotions compared to the norm in the past. Fierce competition among online sellers used to manifest itself in regular, heavily discounted promotions at deep discounts. This has gradually slowed as margins have been squeezed and sellers have tried to maintain a bottom line of increased retail prices. We saw another brief period of discount promotions at the start of the Russia-Ukraine war, but this is unlikely to last long as energy and raw material costs spike again due to this worldwide event.
Of course, the pandemic has brought down many businesses, not just human lives, and in our industry sector, as in many others, there are many people leaving the playing field and the pool of death continues to grow. Most of the brands and models that have been on the market for the past decade, and indeed for the past 15 years, have exited the scene.
Of the few under-desk treadmill manufacturers, most have barely made it, although treadmill desks did "have their moment" during the pandemic. They're just, like all fitness equipment, hard to come by these days, and have become more expensive largely due to the dramatic rise in shipping costs. Lifespan Fitness, the longtime market leader in this category, has seen the collective departure of its U.S. founder and management team, the company's takeover by its Taiwanese supplier, a dramatic shrinkage in the quality of components in its products (without even changing the models or flushing out old user reviews that are no longer relevant, as noted above), a dramatic increase in retail prices, the elimination of factory warranty coverage from the base price, and the years of severe degradation in customer service and customer reviews.
InMovement went bankrupt, it was sold to a mom and pop store, then acquired the UnSit treadmill from its bankrupt founder and is now for sale at top dollar and only in rare cases in stock. In the standing desk space, we've seen dozens of large retailers (e.g. Best Buy, Home Depot) and digital-native online retailers (e.g. Amazon, Walmart) jump further into the fray, chasing their share of the emerging work-from-home (WFH) market, including the likes of big furniture companies (Steelcase, Herman Miller, etc.), racing to raise the "standing desk" and other advertising costs for key keywords and killing off hundreds of smaller competitors who could no longer afford to stay in the game.
Chinese manufacturers of standing desks have long been in a "race to the bottom" as they compete with each other over a $5 price differential to win the most customers. Most of these exist on Amazon, where the average standing desk now costs around $250. There is no doubt that the majority of standing desks sold in the U.S. are actually these products sold through Amazon. If you're reading this, it's probably because you're the kind of consumer who makes these kinds of important buying decisions outside of the Amazon ecosystem by doing some research first - so, good for you.
At least one big brand that first built its market share on Amazon and then invested in building its online presence outside its ecosystem is Flexispot, which is now one of four competitive e-commerce giants in the standing desk business, along with Autonomous, Uplift and Fully. According to sources at Google, these four companies alone now spend more than $100 million a year on search advertising, and at least three of them have very wealthy investors (e.g., billionaires or multibillion-dollar companies). The market for standing desks has definitely exploded with the WFH boom, but so has the competition.
To be a real player in today's mainstream, high-volume standing desk market, you need to bring at least 8 to 15 million visitors to your website each year. This leaves most brands in the industry to compete in smaller niches where they don't have to compete with the giants. Ironically, Fully, which may eventually exit from this group, was acquired by Herman Miller, the world's largest office furniture company, three years ago, but as often happens in these acquisitions, it seems to have lost its mojo after the founders cashed in and went live in 2021.
The one thing these four companies have in common? Their prices, or what you used to get for their prices, are definitely not what they used to be. The self-owned Flexispot started raising its prices significantly a year or two ago, moving itself out of the range of all those Amazon sellers and into the range of the "Jiecang pack" (i.e. Fully and Uplift, and Autodesk, but they seem to be sinking now, unable to continue the fight.) Uplift and Fully stopped their ongoing discount promotions campaigns. On all of their websites, we see frequent disruptions in certain desk colors and sizes as the front end continues to remain clogged (all of these products are made in China).
Flexispot's attacks on the other three companies are the most outrageous, as it recently created a new website that is almost a copy of Fully, using some of Uplift's product names and reflecting some of Autonomous's price points. Will Miller Noel (f.k.a. Herman Miller, who now owns Fully) sue Flexispot over intellectual property issues?
Suffice it to say that these four companies are now almost entirely focused on fighting each other and not much else. At least at the commodity-level end of the market, it is clear that the industry is reaching a stage of maturity where an oligopoly is forming and smaller vendors will have a hard time gaining market share (in fact, many have chosen to sell to larger companies, especially as private equity firms enter the industry; e.g., StandDesk, Fully, Anthro, etc., to name just a few).
Reprinted from 《The Net Effect of Covid, War, Inflation and Global Supply Chain Challenges On The Office Ergonomics Market》, Abridged
Office Furniture & Ergonomics Market Challenges
In 2019, the total global office furniture production is $53 billion, accounting for about 12% of the total global furniture production. Global office furniture consumption is $51.4 billion, accounting for 12% of global furniture consumption, and the ratio of office furniture consumption to total furniture consumption has remained stable over the past seven years, with a slight increase of 0.2 pct in 2019. In 2019, Asia Pacific accounted for 47% of global office furniture production and 41% of global office furniture consumption, making it the world's main export region. China is the world's largest office furniture producer and exporter.
The whole office is an office furniture marketing model, a package of office environment planning, office furniture and supporting facilities, mainly office furniture, including lighting, flooring materials, wall materials, office equipment and other supporting, customized design of the entire office environment space program. Different from the purchase of traditional office furniture only for example, a single table, chairs, cabinets, the overall office will be thinking of a change to the "big office environment" marketing, office furniture in the entire office environment sales.
The overall office is mature in foreign countries, and well-known foreign furniture companies Steelcase, Herman Miller, and HNI have explored the field of overall office to varying degrees. According to the information disclosed on Steelcase's official website, many enterprises have personalized needs for office environment, which can fully and directly show the corporate culture, promote employee dedication, enhance communication efficiency and employee collaboration. The total office emphasizes product-human-environment interaction and is designed to provide employees with a better experience of the office environment, reduce work stress, and increase work efficiency. The overall office in the United States is mature, complete sets of overall office for the main market, the United States complete sets of office furniture system sales accounted for 52.4% of the total office furniture market, the overall office single value of large, with certain technical barriers, more conducive to industry concentration, the United States office furniture industry is highly concentrated, in 2018 CR5 about 55%, CR10 more than 70%.
Office Furniture Market Report in Brief
Can the lift desk accessories be installed by myself?
Lifting Desk you deserve
How much is the electric lift table, is the more expensive the better?
How does the electric table lift work?
Why are elevating student desks popular?