The report, “Is the Furniture Industry Facing Armoiregeddon?,” released today, October 5, by ABTV, a Greensboro, NC-based business and financial advisory firm, suggests that the future belongs to those furnishings producers and retailers who recognize that the market is changing substantially. Success means doing more than keeping up with trends but understanding the multifaceted nature of change, the report indicated.
Among ABTV’s findings:
- The preference for smaller living spaces is growing, the surge in apartment construction and rise of the Tiny House Movement suggests, which supports demand for more multi-purpose and appropriately sized furnishings.
- The Internet of Things is slowly making its way into furniture, a development that will force manufacturer and retailer adaptation as it becomes a driving, difficult to forecast, force.
- Younger consumer concerns about the environment translate into a demand for sustainable, responsibly sourced furniture.
- Millennials and young moms will sustain growth of e-commerce in the immediate future, so retailers need to find their own split between online and in-store sales.
- Overall market sales continue shifting toward the largest retailers, forcing smaller players to rethink their strategies to maintain market share.
- Skilled craftsmen and other trained workers have become harder to find, so the furnishings industry must find fresh ways to prepare a new generation of employees to meet the demands of existing high-demand jobs.
“This year’s update to our annual furniture industry report reflects some of the refrains we’ve addressed in previous reports,” said Peter Tourtellot, principal at ABTV. “The shift to appropriately sized furniture for small living spaces is here to stay. And the disruptive power of technology is going to reorder the retail experience of buying home furnishings. The industry is getting smarter about how it responds to change with innovation, and this is one of the strategies that will keep the industry on a steady road to success.”