Office and Store Fixtures, Partitions, Shelving, and Lockers, Except Wood

SIC 2542

Industry report:

This category covers establishments primarily engaged in manufacturing office and store fixtures, shelving, storage racks, lockers, and related fabricated products, chiefly of materials other than wood. This industry also includes prefabricated partitions if they are designed to be attached to the floor. Those designed to be free-standing or part of an office furniture panel system are classified in SIC 2522: Office Furniture, Except Wood. Establishments primarily engaged in manufacturing refrigerated cabinets, showcases, or display cases are classified in SIC 3585: Air-Conditioning and Warm Air Heating Equipment and Commercial and Industrial Refrigeration Equipment. Companies engaged in manufacturing safes and vaults are classified in SIC 3499: Fabricated Metal Products, Not Elsewhere Classified.

Industry Snapshot

The U.S. Census Bureau reported that 1,377 establishments produced showcases, partitions, shelving, and lockers in 2007. However, the census did not distinguish between wood and nonwood products. Combined industry shipments were valued at $8.0 billion, produced by a workforce of 45,920. About 75 percent of employees in the industry were production workers.

Organization and Structure

Most companies in the partitions and fixtures industry were originally organized into divisions reflecting their potential customers. In general, they focused on assembling and retaining a staff of highly skilled woodworkers. Research and development, marketing, and customer support typically did not receive a high priority, especially among smaller firms. Even in the early twenty-first century, only the largest companies can afford in-house staffs to handle those responsibilities.

Manufacturers of partitions, shelving, and fixtures usually reach out to their markets by advertising in trade journals such as Restaurant Hospitality, Chain Store Age Executive, and other publications aimed at business owners and managers. They sell to a wide range of customers, including major wholesalers, contract hardware jobbers, display and fixture jobbers, specialty wholesalers, independent hardware distributors, export outlets, government agencies, original equipment manufacturers, national mass merchants, large home centers, and building supply outlets.

Background and Development

The growth of the metal partitions and fixtures industry in the United States was directly related to the expansion of the retail segment of the economy and the development of new technology. After World War II, rapidly growing suburbs in the United States fueled the construction of large retail outlets such as supermarkets and shopping centers, which increased the demand for shelving and other fixtures. At the same time new manufacturing processes made it possible to craft fixtures and partitions from lightweight metal alloys to replace the standard wood fixtures. Metal shelves, cases, garment racks, and other products appealed to retailers because they were affordable and could be moved easily.

Demand for nonwood shelving and fixtures slumped in the early 1990s due to a recession but subsequently increased again. The highly competitive retail market and steady growth of the economy encouraged merchants to invest in new store fixtures to keep their product displays attractive and up to date.

Customization was a key word for retailers seeking a distinctive look to set them apart from their competitors. Flexibility was also important because few businesses were interested in buying fixtures that could not be moved or changed to accommodate different kinds of display inventory. Metal wire emerged as a particular favorite because of its high-tech look. Combinations of wire and other materials (mostly wood and Plexiglas) were also popular. This was partly due to the fact that metal products tended to cost less than wood because they could be manufactured quickly and efficiently, often on automated assembly lines.

Wire and wire combination products were popular among residential customers for shelving, storage components, and fixtures. These products were often used in closets, kitchens, baths, laundries, and garages and were available at various retail outlets. They offered a less expensive alternative to similar wood and laminated wood products, which appealed to a more upscale market.

The industry failed to experience any significant gains through the early 2000s, which was reflective of the general economy and a slump in retail corporate growth nationwide. The industry posted 2002 and 2003 sales that were equal to or less than those reached several years earlier, representing a 20 percent decrease in shipments from 2000. According to the Harris Information Group, weak numbers of new office construction projects and new hire freezes contributed to the decline. Hundreds of failed dot-com firms resulted in a glut of used office fixtures, and shelving stockpiled in warehouses around the country. In 2005, however, the industry experienced a 7.6 percent growth, reaching $9.2 billion in shipments.

Current Conditions

According to Dun and Bradstreet's 2009 Industry Reports, by the late 2000s approximately 1,294 establishments were producing nonwood partitions and fixtures in the United States. Total revenues in this category were $2.4 billion. New Jersey accounted for $322.5 million of the nation's sales, followed by California with $312.2 million, Texas with $311.0 million, and Illinois with $225.4 million. California also had many more firms in the industry than the other states (190 establishments); New York was a distant second with 92. About 77 percent of U.S. nonwood partition and fixture manufacturers were small, employing fewer than 25 workers.

Industry Leaders

Industry leaders in the office furniture and fixtures manufacturing industry included Haworth Inc. of Holland, Michigan, with 2007 sales of $1.6 billion and 8,000 employees; Steelcase Inc. of Grand Rapids, Michigan, which had sales of $3.1 billion and employed 13,000 in 2009; and Herman Miller of Zeeland, Michigan, with 2009 revenues of $1.6 billion and 5,229 employees.

One of the largest firms whose primary business fell into this category was Hoffman Enclosures Inc. based in Anoka, Minnesota. Hoffman manufactured primarily enclosures for electronic controls and electrical systems. Other leaders included Melrose Park, Illinois-based Interlake Mecalux Inc., which one of the largest producers of storage racks in the United States; Madix Inc., in Terrell, Texas, which produced racks, fixtures, displays, and storage products at four factories in Texas, Alabama, and Massachusetts; and Lozier Corp. of Omaha, Nebraska, which operated plants in Missouri, Utah, Nebraska, Alabama, and Pennsylvania and made shelving and storage products mainly for retailers. As a subsidiary of Marmon Group based in Paragould, Arkansas, L.A. Darling Co. manufactured store fixtures, shelves, racks, and point-of-purchase displays. Stanley Storage Systems Inc., a subsidiary of Stanley Works based in Allentown, Pennsylvania, was also a significant player.

© COPYRIGHT 2018 The Gale Group, Inc. This material is published under license from the publisher through the Gale Group, Farmington Hills, Michigan. All inquiries regarding rights should be directed to the Gale Group. For permission to reuse this article, contact the Copyright Clearance Center.

News and information about Office and Store Fixtures, Partitions, Shelving, and Lockers, Except Wood

Producer Price Indexes-March 2015
PPI Detailed Report; March 1, 2015; 700+ words
...except wood and metal...except wood and metal...and store fixtures 1221 Wood...Fixtures for stores, banks and offices 1221-0161...01611 Wood lockers, partitions, and shelving (except custom...Wood bank, ...
Table 9. Producer Price Indexes and Percent Changes for Commodity and Service Groupings and Individual Items, Not Seasonally Adjusted
PPI Detailed Report; September 1, 2014; 700+ words
...except wood and metal...except wood and metal...except wood and metal...store 1221 fixtures Wood office...Fixtures for stores, banks 1221...83 and offices Custom architectural...fixtures Wood lockers, ...
Table 5. Producer price indexes for the net output of selected industries and their products, not seasonally adjusted.(Part 4)
PPI Detailed Report; December 1, 2006; 700+ words
...except wood and metal...furniture, except wood and...furniture, except stone and...furniture except single...Furniture and fixtures, nec 337127...337214-4 Office storage units...Showcase, partition, shelving and locker mfg 337215...Shelving ...
Table 6. Producer price indexes and percent changes for commodity and service groupings and individual items, not seasonally adjusted.(Part 2)(Statistical table)
PPI Detailed Report; January 1, 2011; 700+ words
...1211-0104 Wood household...furniture, except wood and...furniture, except wood and...furniture, except wood and...and store fixtures 1221 Wood...furniture and store fixtures...0321 Nonwood office seating 1222-0325 Partitions and ...
Table 6. Producer price indexes and percent changes for commodity and service groupings and individual items, not seasonally adjusted.(Part 2)(Table)
PPI Detailed Report; November 1, 2010; 700+ words
...1211-0104 Wood household...furniture, except wood and...furniture, except wood and...furniture, except wood and...and store fixtures 1221 Wood...furniture and store fixtures...0321 Nonwood office seating 1222-0325 Partitions and ...
OSHA scrutinizes woodworking plants for Amputation risk. (Trends & News).
Wood & Wood Products; March 1, 2002; 700+ words
...cabinetry and office furniture...SIC 2511 (wood household furniture, except upholstered...SIC 2499 (wood products...regional OSHA offices will conduct...2541 Wood Office and Store Fixtures, Partitions, Shelving and Lockers 3496 ...
Table 5. Producer price indexes for the net output of selected industries and their products, not seasonally adjusted.(Part 4)(Table)
PPI Detailed Report; April 1, 2007; 700+ words
...code code Office furniture, except wood, manufacturing...Showcases, partitions, shelving, and lockers 337215 Primary...P Nonwood shelving and lockers...office, store, and related fixtures 337215...shelving (except custom...
Table 5. Producer price indexes for the net output of selected industries and their products, not seasonally adjusted.(Part IV)(Table)
PPI Detailed Report; July 1, 2007; 700+ words
...A Nonwood office seating...1 Nonwood office desks and...4 Nonwood office files, storage...Showcases, partitions, shelving, and lockers 337215 Primary...office, store, and related fixtures 337215...337215-L Wood lockers, partitions, and ...

Search all articles about Office and Store Fixtures, Partitions, Shelving, and Lockers, Except Wood