SIC 2517 Wood Television, Radio, Phonograph, and Sewing Machine Cabinets


SIC 2517

This category covers establishments primarily engaged in manufacturing wood cabinets for radios, television sets, phonographs, and sewing machines.



Wood Television, Radio, and Sewing Machine Cabinet Manufacturing

This industry makes such products as wooden speaker boxes, stereo cabinets, sewing machine cases, and television cabinets. It is part of the larger household furniture industry. About 75 percent of the industry's output consists of television cabinets or cases for television, stereo, or radio combinations. Wooden household furniture accounts for 10 percent of sales, and miscellaneous items comprise the remainder. Nearly 85 percent of the industry's products are sold to radio and television manufacturers.

The U.S. Census Bureau reported that there were 239 establishments operating in this classification in 2004, and they shipped goods worth $205 million that year. Less than 10 percent of these establishments had at least 20 employees, while California and New York had the highest concentrations of businesses in this category.

A limited market existed for sewing machine cases and radio cabinets early in the twentieth century. Not until after World War II did the U.S. wooden cabinet business emerge as a small industry. A consumer spending boom, boosted by a surging demand for television cabinets beginning in the 1950s, resulted in healthy industry growth throughout the 1950s, 1960s, and much of the 1970s. By the early 1980s television and radio cabinet producers were shipping products worth more than $300 million per year and employing about 7,000 workers.

Although sales swelled to nearly $400 million in 1984, the market slumped soon afterward, primarily because of foreign competition and the increasing popularity of plastic. As imports of consumer electronics, particularly from Japan, ballooned throughout the 1980s, demand for domestically manufactured television and radio cabinets plummeted. Many U.S. factories switched from wood to cheaper, more versatile plastic cabinets. Wood cabinet sales tumbled at a rate of nearly 9 percent annually between 1984 and 1990, and the industry's yearly sales dropped below $250 million. Some companies left the industry during an economic recession in the early 1990s.

These issues continued to plague the industry into the late 1990s and early 2000s. Wooden television, radio, phonograph, and sewing machine cabinet...

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