You’d have to be a fool to assume that the recent recession hasn’t had a major impact on the home furnishings and furniture markets, and for retailers to make a come back successfully after the drain on our finances it’s apparent that a “business as usual” attitude will find them quickly sinking instead of swimming afloat.
Looking at the US Department of Commerce’s stats it’s easy to see that recession-scarred customers are withholding approximately 13% of previous years’ home furnishings and furniture retail sales from businesses and keeping the pennies where they’re needed most – in their wallet.
Clearly consumers have altered their financial priorities, a downturn anticipated as far back as the middle of 2007. Strong businesses have stayed the course but it won’t be long before their luck runs out, or rather their financial reserves.
The stats are echoed by revelations that the average amount spent by affluent households on luxury furniture, rugs and other furnishings is down 7.3% from the previous year.
Savvy retailers will recognise that the way to stay afloat in the coming months will be by focusing on the motivating factors for consumers and intelligently strategising their business rather than banking on a new product line to secure their imminent future.
It won’t hurt that Christmas is around the corner, but a key trend will inevitably emerge of “better to do one thing very well than many things badly”, and retailers concentrating on and reinforcing their existing assets should prosper in the face of this economic downturn.