As well as this 134,000 people work in specialist furniture and furnishings wholesale and retail, 13,000 in leasing and 2,000 in repair. Altogether the furnishings sector equates to 1.8 percent of manufacturing output.

The furnishings sector can be broadly divided into three main categories: office, domestic and contract. The office sector includes all items used in an office environment including work stations, desks, chairs, tables and cabinets. The domestic sector includes furnishings used to serve the public, in particular via retail outlets, and the contract sector includes furniture used in public areas including airports, residential accommodation, hospitals, hotels, cruise liners, restaurants, schools and stadia.

Some organisations cater to more than one market. The distinctions between the contract and office sectors are particularly vague, and many manufacturers supply both contract and domestic users. Around 30 percent of furniture manufacturing turnover in the UK is down to the contract and office sub sectors.

There are a relatively high number of micro and small to medium sized businesses in the furniture manufacturing business. Just 260 companies have turnovers that exceed £5 million and 84% of companies have turnovers of less than £1 million per annum; 59% of companies turnover less than £250,000. Only 35 companies employ in excess of 250 people with 78% of companies employing less than ten people.

Although furniture manufacturing makes a significant contribution to the UK economy it suffers from a distinct lack of recognition. The industry is spread across the country, and has no regional hub. As a result, the industry tends to miss out on adequate political support from the government as much of this support tends to be regional.