“The Furniture Wars: How America Lost a 50 Billion Dollar Industry” by Michael K. Dugan in Paperback; $20.99 Michael Dugan is past President and CEO of Henredon Furniture Industries. He served in that position for 17 years from 1987 to 2004. The book chronicles the impact of globalization on the furniture industry.
This book provides real-life information about the downturn of a critical industry. As someone who works with the generations of talented individuals who lost their livelihood to globalization, it is a poignant message. What returned in the form of furniture from Asia is pseudo-furniture; looks like furniture but quickly finds a way to the nearest landfill.
Reed Business writes
The book offers an insider’s critical look at the impact of globalization on the American furniture business, an industry that went from making ‘world class’ products to shutting down plants in 5 years. With tens of thousands of jobs and billions of dollars at stake, the industry was taught a painful lesson. The failure to learn from the experience will result in more losses for the furniture business and other industries as well, making this book particularly relevant to our times.
Professor Dugan is currently the Chair of the Business School at Lenoir-Rhyne University. Previously he was the President and CEO of Henredon Furniture Industries, a position he held for 17 years. Widely recognized by insiders as an industry pioneer and marketing guru, he played the lead role in building the Pennsylvania House brand and co-founded his own furniture company, Jamestown Sterling. He is a contributing editor to “Home Furnishings Business” magazine and writes book reviews for the “Hickory Daily Record.” A frequent guest lecturer at other colleges and universities, Dugan teaches a graduate course in Leadership and an undergraduate course in Marketing at Lenoir Rhyne. His business career involved working with many influential people including Polo chief Ralph Lauren,long time Bloomimgdale’s ceo, Marvin Traub, and designer Barbara Barry. A graduate of the University of Toronto, where he majored in English Literature and Medieval Philosophy, he holds an MBA degree from Syracuse University.
What do you think about the loss of the furniture industry?