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From Home Furnishing Business

Poetry in Motion


Motion upholstery is one of the younger product categories in the furniture industry and because of that it remains a powerful force on retail floors.

Total motion upholstery sales for 2014 were $6.02 billion, 8.04 percent of all furniture sales. When broken down and considering only upholstery sales, motion upholstery accounted for 20.87 percent of sales in 2014. For the first quarter of 2014, those percentages remained steady. Year to year, the category posted a 3.4 percent sales increase from 2013 to 2014.

Home Furnishings Business’ most recently conducted consumer survey queried shoppers about the motion upholstery category. Most of our consumer panel—71.2 percent—fell into the five to seven range on a seven-point scale where one was “not at all satisfied” and seven indicated “very satisfied.”

When it comes to styling and design of motion upholstery, consumers this year seem to be more in step with available options. When asked if the style of motion upholstery was an inhibitor in buying, nearly 61 percent (60.7 percent) indicated no.  Nearly 58 percent of consumers from last year’s motion upholstery survey said motion upholstery styling was an issue for them.

Within industry circles, power recline mechanisms generate an incredible amount of buzz. However, that buzz hasn’t yet trickled down to the end consumer.

According to the latest survey, 60.6 percent prefer hand-operated mechanisms, and 27.3 percent lean toward power reclining seats. The remaining 12.1 percent cited body pressure—or press-back—mechanisms.

While retailers and motion suppliers alike would love to get consumers to part with a bit more of their hard-earned dollars and step up to a power recline, that’s a tricky feat.

When asked how much more consumers are willing to pay for a power recline over a manual recline, 68 percent said they’d pay $50 more for power. Only 3.6 percent are willing to part with $150 more for a power mechanism. The remaining 17 percent said they would pay $100 premium for power.

Ensuring the product lasts and doesn’t breakdown, consumers are adamant on warranty options for motion upholstery. More than 74 percent said they have a warranty on their furniture. When asked of the importance of warranties, nearly 67 percent scored them a five or higher on our one-to-seven scale with one being “not at all important” and seven being “very important”.

Want More?

A more in depth report on motion upholstery is available for purchase at—Industry Info—Industry Reports—Motion Upholstery, or by calling Natalia Hurd at (404) 390-1535.

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