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Palliser Background Information Palliser Furniture Ltd is a Canadian company created in 1944 Started by A Defehr with the money he made selling his car the company is currently the largest furniture manufacturer in Canada By 1964 Palliser had a 45000 sq ft operation with 50 employees and 1 Million CND in sales The Canadian furniture industry is labour intensive and employs mostly immigrants who are skilled and semi-skilled workers The industry is becoming more high-tech and there is going to be a shortage of qualified labour supply The wage costs in Canada are much higher then they are in the US which is another reason for the company to look at going international The Canadian industry is generally focussed on product quality quick delivery innovative design customer service and price The US market on the other hand is more focused towards the quality of raw materials product design location quality of showrooms extent of marketing activity and price It seems the Canadian market has reached its potential as seen by a much lower growth than the rest of Canadian goods 15 as well as a much much lower growth than the furniture industry in the US 3 Another comparison indicating a lack of international competitiveness is that of the two main furniture companies in Canada Palliser generates 85 percent of its revenues in Canada a low growth and mature market whereas Dorel Industries Ltd its rivals generates over 80 percent of their revenues internationally in which a much higher growth exists Asia and Europe also were going to have an advantage in terms of importing furniture parts etc because of the expected reduction in tariffs in the not-so-distant future In 1996 there were 1406 firms that made up the furniture industry with an estimate product output of over 56 billion dollars Household furniture wholesale sales were 21 billion dollars in 1997 and are expected to increase at 1 percent annually into the next
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