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March 3rd, 2008, 05:19 PM #1Furniture Sales - On the Web or Nowhere?
From what I've recently seen and heard, the furniture industry seems to be undergoing some major changes.
First, someone correct me if I'm wrong, but it seems like many online furniture sellers are doing pretty well. From looking at SAS merchant stats alone, I can find many furniture retailers that look look like they are prospering, and in limited furniture offerings that I have on a couple of my sites, I do ok. On ABW, AMs and OPMs in the furniture niche frequently post info on large affiliate sales.
Conversely, B & M retailers, especially in the upper low-range and in the mid-range of furniture quality and cost, seem to be falling by the wayside. Not too many years ago, Sears, which had moved furniture out of its Sears stores and expanded its Home Visions chain of furniture-only stores, closed them all, and started selling furniture online only. Then, Montgomery Ward, that really seemed to emphasize furniture in its stores, went out of business. But Sears (Ok, now actually KMart) seems to be doing really well with its group of websites selling furniture - Home Visions, the resurrected Wards, Charles Keath, etc.
I could recite a long list of chains and solo furniture retailers that were long-time familiar names in SoCal that have gone out of business in the past few years, including even some high-end stores, and now, in the past few months, 2 major national furniture retailers, Wickes and Levitz, are both going out of business. There was another even larger national chain whose name escapes me, that closed up a year or 2 ago.
Major "big box" and discount chains, from Walmart to Target to Costco, etc. all seem to devote very limited floor space to furniture.
It seems to me that the future of furniture sales is really on the web. The economics of today just seem to weigh against being able to profitably display large-size items that need considerable floor space in B & M stores, with the exception of real high-end designer furniture where the profit margin is much higher.
At the other end of the spectrum, Ikea is a shining exception to my point, but I think their tremendous marketing and ability to sell low-quality but attractive DIY furniture goes a long way to prove the point that traditional B & M furniture retailing is a dying industry.
March 3rd, 2008, 07:01 PM #2Originally Posted by AffiliateHound
Those furniture stores doing things right online will be around for a while. I, ofcourse some may think I say this just because I am the OPM for EF, but EF is doing things right.
- pricegrabber survey from an everythingfurniture post in 06'
- some more info on blog furniture industry research catches students attention
March 3rd, 2008, 07:25 PM #3Originally Posted by AffiliateHound
There will always be people who want to see/touch/feel [i.e. "experience"] the furniture prior to purchasing.
March 3rd, 2008, 07:41 PM #4
No showroom = big profits. No salespeople with health benefits, etc. and that leaves a lot of room to work with on the percentages. The online-only furniture stores are a great innovation.
March 3rd, 2008, 08:38 PM #5Originally Posted by Rhia7
Originally Posted by Rhia7
But, on the other hand, as I tried to infer in my first post, but which apparently has been ignored or dismissed by all but 3 abwers, the furniture niche is a growth area for affiliate marketing.
March 3rd, 2008, 08:51 PM #6Originally Posted by AffiliateHound
http://www.christmastreeshops.com/ has some furniture
Places like Marshalls & TJMaxx have limited furniture.
Macy's has furniture but that's more upscale.
I think there will always be some type of furniture showrooms even for "lesser quality" -- Kmart has some.
If I had kids and wanted to buy bunk beds, I'd buy the beds through a catalog or from online (I guess).
Catalog furniture [i.e. from Sears] has been a tradition ... now it's on the web.
I rue the fact that the U.S. isn't as involved in manufacturing as it used to be. Now everything seems to be from China.
Originally Posted by AffiliateHound
Last edited by Rhia7; March 3rd, 2008 at 09:02 PM.
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