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From Home Furnishing Business

Another Year

 

It’s time to take stock of 2015 and lay the foundation for next year’s success.

Our mission is to help you visualize what can be done, analyze what you are doing, and finally realize your objective

For most companies, the end of the calendar year is the end of the business year. It is time to take stock of the business or department that you are charged with to see if you have moved the needle.

The most basic measure is whether or not the company was profitable. It’s better to analyze that before the accountants do their magic in navigating tax laws to minimize what is expected to be your share of what’s required to run this great country. This number reflects the actions taken this year along with those made in years past. For the most part that number is silent, not commenting good or bad. Yes, if it is a loss that is not good. However, is it the best that could be done under your business circumstances?

The focus of this issue offers you a time to reflect. For the year the total industry—furniture and bedding sales—will be a positive 5 percent. Of course, specific markets could have varied from this number significantly. The forecast for next year indicates a similar growth.

As we all know our economic recovery has been sluggish to say the least. While unemployment is showing positive signs, median incomes of the industry’s primary consumers continue to be in a free fall as it has been for a decade. We, along with other retail sectors, are being tested. However, at the same time, we face other challenges. For the most part, the industry has adjusted to offshore production for the majority of our product. Unfortunately, we have passed all of these reductions on to the consumer.

The Consumer Price Index continues to fall for furniture. The greatest challenges today are the emerging distribution channels. We discuss at length the e-commerce channel. However, we need to consider vertical retailers, those retailers that are designing, producing, and marketing proprietary unique products. These retailers don’t have to concern themselves with distribution as traditional retailers do.

The Home Furnishings Business Power 50 ranking measures in the short term individual retailers against their unique situation in terms of market share and social engagement. Revenue and industry involvement reflect actions from the past.

In short, what it gets down to is measuring on an ongoing basis how you are doing based on your unique situation. Understanding key performance indicators (KPI) and recognizing what can realistically be accomplish is what is important. Armed with this information you can focus on doing what is necessary.

Our mission is to help you visualize what can be done, analyze what you are doing, and finally realize your objective. Just like a Fitbit, each day is a new day, measured against yesterday.

 



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