HIGH POINT, N.C.—Furniture retailers attending High Point Market are more optimistic than they were a year ago, with just more than 45 percent of them saying they expect furniture purchasing volume to increase in the second half of 2019.
During a similar survey at 2018’s fall market, just 35 percent showed the same level of optimism, according to a TD Bank survey.
TD Bank, which polled 102 furniture retailers, has been conducting these surveys for the past four years. Along with those who predicted a rise in furniture sales, an additional 40 percent said business will remain steady and just less than 13 percent expected a decline.
Nearly half of the respondents (48 percent) thought the recent interest rate cuts haven’t had an impact on business, with 38 percent saying that lower interest rates have resulted in more purchases.
On the issue of trends, close to half (47 percent) felt the momentum was with eco-friendly furniture, followed by multi-purpose furniture (24 percent), smart furniture (22 percent) and locally sourced products (9 percent).
With the holidays on the horizon, retailers were asked about their business plans and 44 percent said they wouldn’t be doing anything different. However, 31 percent said they would off special promotions, 13 percent planned to hire seasonal workers and nearly 10 percent were extending their hours.
When asked about the benefits of financing programs, more than half (52 percent) said financing has helped with customer loyalty, repeat business and sales growth. Yet, only 23 percent said they offer financing to their customers. Of those that offer financing, most said they major plus to consumers was their ability to pay off their purchase slowly (48 percent), followed closely by the ability to make larger purchases (43 percent).
The biggest reason for not offering financing, according the survey takers, was that customers don’t want it (42 percent). Another 25 percent said they didn’t realize it was an option, while nearly 22 percent of retailers said they hadn’t found the right partner.
Courtesy of Home Furnishing News (HFN)
Written by Joanne Friedrick, Contributing Editor