From Home Furnishing Business
By Sheila Long O’Mara
Whether many parents want to admit it or not, those pint-sized beings are quite vocal with their opinions on their room décor.
In Home Furnishings Business’ latest consumer survey, more than half—52.2 percent—of children were either moderately or extremely influential in the furniture purchases for their bedrooms. They wield a bit of power over their own domain; however, that power was zapped a bit from last year’s survey when 58.8 percent of parents said kids were moderately or extremely influential in the decision-making process.
The window of opportunity to capture families in the youth market is wide open between birth and 13 years old. After that, the window closes because the kids have outgrown a train or pink and purple flower room, and parents have likely moved over into adult bedroom for those rooms. More than 80 percent of the youth furniture purchases were made by the time a child is 13, according to our latest consumer survey.
According to data from Home Furnishings Business' owner FurnitureCore, the sales growth in youth bedroom has been outpacing adult bedroom for the last several years. Sales in youth bedroom grew 2.4 percent from 2013 to 20124, the latest full-year figures available. Adult bedroom grew 1.9 percent during the same period. In fact, when we examine total industry sales across all categories for 2014, which total $74.78 billion, excluding bedding, and grew 2.5 percent, the youth category is keeping pace with the industry’s growth.
Looking back farther to the change between 2012 and 2013, youth sales grew 1.8 percent compared to 1.2 percent for adult bedroom.
Total youth bedroom sales for 2014 were $2.75 billion. For the first quarter of this year, the category's sales were $710 million. Comparing the first quarter of 2014 to the first quarter of 2015, sales of youth furniture grew 7.3 percent.
Youth bedroom accounts for 3.7 percent of the furniture industry’s overall sales, excluding mattresses.
The increased sales figures are being bolstered primarily by the purchase of traditional goods. Slightly more than 57 percent (57.1 percent) of the surveyed consumers bought traditional furniture for their children’s rooms this year. That’s a significant drop from last year when 70.6 percent bought traditional furniture.
The traditional styles are losing ground to contemporary styles. This year, 28.6 percent of those surveyed classified their youth furniture purchase as contemporary. Last year, that figure was at 11.8 percent.
Pricing of youth furniture can be a stickler for consumers.
Nearly 67 percent said they expect a room of youth furniture to cost $700 or less. Only 19 percent said it should cost between $1,001 and $1,500, and another 9.5 percent bumped the cost up to between $1,501 and $2,000.
Those pricing expectations seem to be at odds with the consumers’ purchases and their perception of how long the product will last and its use.
Almost 43 percent (42.9 percent) said they bought the furniture for their child’s room with the idea that it could be used for the child’s first apartment or home. Another 33 percent said they hoped the furniture could be used in a spare bedroom in the future.
Most of the surveyed consumers—76.2 percent—also said they furnished their child’s room with stylish, good quality furniture.
What Suppliers Say
Bolton Furniture’s Cambridge Collection
Classic Louis Philippe design gives the group its winning appeal. Available in white and chestnut finishes, two bed styles are available in twin and full and a third style is also available in a bunk option. All beds work with the company’s under bed storage or accessory units. Suggested retail for a four-piece set starts at $1,599.
Legacy Classic Kids’ Avalon bed from Inspirations by Wendy Bellissimo
The Inspirations collection offers sophisticated styling that allows the furniture to fit many settings as needs change. Grey tones in home fashion continue to perform well. The Morning Mist grey finish of the collection brings the color into the youth market. Suggested retail of $599 for a twin bed.
Magnussen Home’s Crayola Colors Collection
Design details in the collection include signature tapered bent drawer fronts with the option to change front panels with the six Crayola colors accenting the white. The furniture grows with the child by removing the color panels leaving a chic white transitional group. Unique pieces include an art table, lighted island bed and lounge bed. Suggested retail for a twin bed is $599; dresser, $599; and a night stand, $299.
Samuel Lawrence Furniture’s Expedition Bunk
The bed is beautiful, durable and adaptable with its timeless style and finish. The design allows for multiple configuration of bed sizes and is available with and without storage options to fit every child’s needs. The bunk also separates into free-standing. Suggested retail is $999.
Universal Furniture’s Smartstuff Paula Deen Guys Bunk Beds
The beds feature classic styling and is available in twin over twin, full over full and twin over full and converts into two beds. Offering several Smartstuff features including the “nightstand-in-the-sky” and a 17 percent wider ladder with grooves for greater traction, the bunk bed is available with under bed storage options. Suggested retail is $1,099.
Walker Edison’s Bunk Beds
Walker Edison bunks are designed to adjust as families grow by providing versatility of two traditional beds that can be separated, space underneath for a futon and more options. Ready-to-assemble construction allows for home delivery via express carrier.
Ashley Furniture’s Zayley Storage Bed
Lateral storage accommodates the diversity in size and shape kids’ rooms. The extra storage and daybed feature allow youth to lounge with a book, computer and friends while offering additional storage space. Color options behind the circle motif are interchangeable. Suggested retail is $799.
What Retailers Say
Bolton Furniture’s Windsor bed
“The classic styling works for boys or girls, and the bed is made of all-wood construction with a full slat roll. The bed and coordinating pieces come in five finishes. Great bed for the money.” Retail is $398.
Allen Wayside Furniture