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Monthly Issue

From Home Furnishing Business

Editor's Note: The Evolving Consumer

By: Sheila Long O'Mara

Over the last several Years, the team here at Home Furnishings Business has written much about the consumer and her hot-and-cold relationship with shopping for furniture. We’ve delved into her psyche; we’ve explored her disposable income; we’ve looked at how and where she likes to shop; and, how she wants her home to look, feel and smell.


We’ve dug into how retailers communicate with the consumer, and how manufacturers try to connect and help her create the perfect environment for her family and friends through beautiful home furnishings. We’ve connected with her through surveys to find out how she’ll use her newly purchased sofa or dining table or bedroom furniture. We’ve shared in family celebrations of babies and vacation homes.


We’ve gathered intelligence into her way of thinking and her way of shopping. We’ve examined her social media preferences and her exploration of furniture on the Internet.

We’ve watched the life stage shift from a one-person, single household to a double-income-no-kids home to a  busy working mother of 2.1 to an empty nester  ready to downsize into a zero-lot-line home. 


We’ve seen her adapt with technology and use it to her advantage in uncovering the best deal on a Surya rug or Restonic mattress or Cresent bedroom.


The gist is that she (or he — it’s just much less complicated to use one pronoun) is constantly evolving. The life stages are not stagnant; they never have been, and they never will be.


The furniture she needs for her first apartment is — and should be — different than what she needs in her late 20s or early 30s. And, that furniture is different than she needs in her 40s and 50s and beyond.


That folks, is what we should all continue to hope for. That our target consumer continues to evolve and her tastes and needs change along with her. For that is what keeps this industry churning.


Inside this month’s issue, you’ll find detailed information about how retailers are connecting with consumers, data on income shifts and a look at retail models and which ones are faring well.


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