People have been producing furniture for tens of thousands of years when people would carve out furniture from natural objects such as rocks and tree stumps. Today, furniture is mass produced on a global scale.

While Ikea is probably as well known around the world as McDonald’s, Coca Cola and Nike, the United States is the leader in the worldwide furniture market. How does Canada rank globally and what does the furniture industry look like in Canada?

Read on to find statistics about the furniture industry in Canada.

Furniture Industry Statistics for Canadians

  • Globally, Canada’s furniture market ranks eleventh with a revenue of 36 billion CAD in 2020.
  • In 2022, the revenue from furniture sales is expected to be 18.03 billion CAD.
  • Since 2021, Canada’s furniture exports have been worth around 500 CAD per month.
  • Living room furniture represents the largest portion of the furniture market in Canada and was worth 5.18 billion CAD in 2021.
  • In December 2021, furniture sales in Canada were down by 6% compared to the previous December.
  • 97% of the over 7,000 furniture manufacturing companies in Canada are Canadian owned.
  • There were 3,088 furniture stores in Canada in December 2021.
  • There are 3,606 non-employer or indeterminate and 6,019 employer furniture establishments in Canada.
  • In 2021, 82% of furniture purchases were made in stores.
  • Millennials buy the most furniture in Canada and market trends show preference for long-lasting, high-quality products.
  • Leon’s Furniture is the largest furniture retailer in Canada with 306 stores across the country.

How does Canada’s furniture market compare globally?

The United States has the largest furniture market worldwide. Canada ranks eleventh after several Asian, European, and South American countries. In 2020, Canada’s furniture market revenue was 36 billion CAD and in March 2021, the gross domestic product from manufacturing furniture and related products reached over 4.3 billion CAD.

The revenue and export statistics in the furniture industry

Despite sales of furniture slowing down during the Covid-19 pandemic, the revenue from furniture and home furnishing stores in Canada has been growing steadily. In 2022, the revenue in the furniture market is expected to amount to 18.03 billion CAD, and the market is predicted to grow annually by 5.48% between 2022 and 2026.

The monthly export value of furniture and fixtures from Canada has fluctuated. According to Statista, in April 2020, Canada exported furniture worth around 290 million CAD. This was the lowest figure recorded in recent years. However, the export figures have since recovered and in 2021, the monthly export value was around 500 million CAD or higher. 95% of Canadian made furniture is exported to the United States.

Which segments have the highest revenue?

In 2021, the largest segment of the furniture market was living room furniture with a market volume of 5.18 billion CAD, followed by bedroom furniture with 3.56 CAD. The revenues from the other segments were: kitchen and dining room furniture 2.23 CAD, lamps and lighting 2.05 CAD, floor coverings 1.56 CAD, outdoor furniture 1.39 CAD, and home office furniture 1.23 CAD.

The proportions are expected to remain the same in 2022 with the two largest segments having revenues of 5.43 CAD and 3.74 CAD respectively. When considered in relation to the population of Canada, the per person revenues generated from furniture sales are 469.80 CAD in 2022.

Changes in furniture sales

Most years in Canada, the furniture industry sees year-on-year growth in furniture sales revenue. In December 2019, the sales were up 5.2% compared to the previous December. The following year, sales grew again, this time by 5%. The biggest growth, at 6%, in the last ten years was in 2015.

Within the same time period, there have been two times when the sales have fallen compared to the previous year. This happened in 2021 when the sales were 6% lower compared to 2020. The last time it happened was in 2017 when the sales dropped by 2.2% compared to the previous year. 

The number and distribution of manufacturing companies in Canada

Ontario has the highest number of manufacturing companies in Canada with 1,507 companies located in the province. Quebec, where there are 1,298 furniture manufacturing companies, is second.

In total, there are over 7,000 furniture manufacturing companies across Canada. 97% of the manufacturing companies are owned and operated by Canadians. In 2015, the country’s furniture production sector employed 63,900 people.

Number and distribution of furniture stores in Canada

According to Statista, there were 3,088 furniture stores in Canada in December 2021. Most of these stores were in Ontario where there are 1,194 furniture stores. Quebec has the second most furniture stores with 670 stores. British Columbia and Alberta come third and fourth with 474 and 327 stores, respectively.

At the other end of the scale are Prince Edward Island with 14 furniture stores, Yukon with three, and the Northwest Territories with just two stores.

What type of companies are Canada’s furniture establishments?

Companies in Canada are categorised either as employers or as non-employers / indeterminate. The term indeterminate covers all those companies that do not have employees on payroll, but may use contracted workers. They may also have family members in the workforce. Indeterminate companies also include those that did not have employees in the last  twelve months.

According to the Government of Canada, there are 3,606 non-employer or indeterminate and 6,019 employer furniture establishments. Ontario has the most companies in both categories, with 2,397 employer and 1,676 non-employer / indeterminate companies.

In Quebec, the numbers are 1,276 and 704 of employers and non-employers / indeterminate companies and in British Columbia 954 and 559.

The territories have the least furniture establishments. In Yukon, there are eight employer companies and in the Northwest Territories six. Yukon has no non-employer / indeterminate companies, while there is one such company in the Northwest Territories. There are no furniture establishments in either category in Nunavut.

What size are Canadian furniture companies?

The numbers from the Government of Canada show that 41.8% of furniture companies in 2021 were micro companies, employing less than five people. Small companies, employing between 6 and 99 people, made up 57% of the total number of establishments in the furniture industry, while 1.1% were medium-sized with 100-500 members of staff. Only 0.1% of the companies were large, with over 500 employees.

Ontario has the most companies in each category, with 1,084 micro, 1,266 small, 44 medium and 3 large companies. Quebec, British Columbia, Alberta come next on the list. At the other end of the table are the territories with three micro and five small companies in Yukon. Northwest Territories have four micro companies and two small. Neither territory has any medium or large companies, and Nunavut has no furniture establishments at all.

Online or in store?

While the number of people who buy their furniture online has been growing steadily over the years, the majority of Canadians still like to buy their furniture from brick-and-mortar stores. In 2021, 82% of Canadian consumers bought their furniture in person from a store compared to 18% who bought furniture online.

However, in 2017, only 9% of Canadians bought furniture online. If the trend continues at the same rate, then the percentage will be 69% for in store and 31% for online purchases by 2025.

During the Covid-19 pandemic, Canadian home furniture and furnishings online sales experienced a 191% increase between February 2020 and April 2020. During the same period, in-store sales of furniture dropped by 70% according to Statistics Canada.

Who buys the most furniture in Canada?

Millennials are the most regular furniture buyers in Canada, making up 37% of households that buy furniture. In 2017, the generation accounted for 778.5 billion CAD of furniture sales and in 2018, they spent 655 CAD per capita on home furnishings.

How much are Canadians spending on furniture and furnishings?

In 2019, the average household in Canada spent 2,924 CAD on household furnishings, equipment (including but not limited to cooking utensils and furniture), and appliances. The average household spent 1,124 CAD on furnishings, 1,218 CAD on equipment, and 582 CAD on appliances.

Canadians prefer long lasting wooden furniture

Market trends show that Canadians value durability and wooden products are preferred especially for living and dining rooms.

In Canada, wood is one of the most widely used raw materials and accounts for over 30% of materials used in furniture manufacturing. Species such as Western Red Cedar, Douglas Fir and Western Hemlock are versatile, highly durable and easy to work with, which makes Canadian trees perfect for producing high-quality furniture.

Canadian furniture retailers

Leon’s Furniture is a major retailer in Canada having opened their first store in Ontario in 1909. Today, they have 128 stores in the province and 306 across the country. The company’s revenue has continued to grow in recent years and was 2.51bn CAD in 2021.

While Leon’s Furniture is the largest furniture retailer in Canada, other popular Canadian owned furniture stores include:

  • Candace & Basil – they have only one showroom located in Mississauga, Ontario. However, the store founded in 1986 delivers across the country via their online store.
  • Casalife Furniture – the company has three retail locations in Toronto, Ontario. It is a Canadian family-owned business that has been in operation for almost two decades.
  • EQ3 – the company has its headquarters in Winnipeg, Manitoba and has fourteen stores in Canada. As well as Manitoba, they have stores in Alberta, British Columbia, Quebec, and Ontario.
  • Mobilia – the company was founded in Montreal, Quebec and now has ten stores across Quebec and Ontario. Their online platform also covers customers in British Columbia and New Brunswick.
  • Stoney Creek Furniture – since the company was established in Stoney Creek, Ontario, the company has expanded to have two large showrooms in Stoney Creek and Vaughan, Ontario.

IKEA has the second largest market share in Canada

Globally, Ikea generated 54.5 billion CAD in revenue in 2018 and had a sales growth rate of 4.5%. In Canada, there were fourteen IKEA stores in 2021 and 31 pickup-only collection points. They recently added Design Studios in Toronto and Mississauga, which makes the total number of store locations sixteen in Canada.

IKEA Canada had total sales of 2.59 billion CAD in the financial year ending August 31, 2021, which was an increase of 11.8%. During the pandemic, visits to IKEA’s online store increased by 32% to 236 million.

Top furniture manufacturers in Canada

While there are thousands of furniture manufactures in Canada, some of the top manufactures include:

  • Dorel Inds: A publicly owned company that produces ready-to-assemble furniture and assembled youth furniture. They also make products such as car seats, cribs and high chairs.
  • Palliser Furniture: A privately owned company producing assembled furniture for bedrooms and home offices, including entertainment centres and wall units. The company’s flagship store is in Winnipeg, Manitoba.
  • Shermag: The company, based Sherbrooke, Quebec, produces a wide range of furniture including bedroom, home office, and dining room furniture. They also make contemporary, high-end fabric and leather upholstery.
  • South Shore Inds: This family-owned company based in Sainte-Croix, Quebec makes ready-to-assemble furniture as well as fully assembled furniture, especially for the adult and juvenile bedrooms as well as wall units and entertainment centres.
  • Canadel Furniture: A family-owned company that specialises in solid wood casual dining furniture including bar stools and pub tables. The company is based in Louiseville, Quebec.

Conclusion

Globally, Canada has one of the biggest furniture industries in the world. The industry has been growing steadily year-on-year, despite the sales dropping by 6% from January 2020 to January 2021 because of the pandemic.

Most Canadian furniture establishments are categorised as micro or small companies (up to 99 employees), and around two-thirds are employer companies, while the rest are categorised as non-employer or indeterminate. The majority of Canadian furniture companies are Canadian owned and operated.

While IKEA has a strong market hold in Canada, Leon’s Furniture is the biggest furniture retailer in Canada.

Current trends show that while people still prefer to shop for furniture in brick-and-mortar stores, the number of online furniture shoppers is growing. Based on that, the furniture companies that have a strong online presence alongside brick-and-mortar stores, will perform the best in the future. 

Frequently Asked Questions

In December 2021, there were 3,088 furniture stores in Canada.

Despite the growing popularity of online shopping, 82% of Canadians still prefer to buy their furniture in stores.

Canada has the eleventh largest furniture market. The revenue was 36 billion CAD in 2020.

Living room furniture is the most bought furniture category in Canada, followed by bedroom and then kitchen and dining room furniture.

Yes, the vast majority, at 97% of the over 7,000 furniture manufacturing companies in Canada are owned and managed by Canadians.

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