From Home Furnishing Business
By Sheila Long O’Mara
My how times have changed.
It wasn’t too many years ago when consumers were clamoring for armoires or closed entertainment centers to house and hide televisions, DVD players and other entertainment electronics. Flip the next few pages, and you’ll find an overwhelming number of consoles jam packed with features to accommodate televisions and all the accessories of today’s well-furnished home theaters.
With the demise of the big box televisions and the onslaught of affordable flat screens, consumers are opting to show off their electronics as more of a status symbol. Gone are the armoires of old that were used to hide the fact that folks watched television and in are the consoles and open wall storage.
The current product direction in the category blends well with the insight from the latest Home Furnishings Business consumer survey that finds consumers like showing off their fancy televisions. More than three-fourths of them—78.9 percent—said closing up their television was not important at all. Only 19 percent said it was somewhat important.
Sixty percent cited consoles as their first choice for displaying their television while another third (33.3 percent) said they’d prefer to hang it on a wall.
Keep in mind that the attraction to consoles is limited by the fact that consumers still want and need storage for DVDs, Blu-ray Discs and CDs. Nearly 81 percent said such storage is either very important to somewhat important to meeting their home entertainment furnishings needs.
According to the Consumer Electronics Association, wholesale sales for consumer electronics are projected to grow this year to $222.7 billion, a 2.4 percent increase from $217.7 billion in wholesale sales last year. Looking ahead to 2016, the association forecast calls for revenues to hit an all-time high of $228.8 billion.
Television sales remain critical as the consumer electronics industry’s third-largest contributor to total industry revenue, with sales of televisions and displays projected to reach $19.4 billion in 2015, on par with 2014, and unit sales projected to reach 36 million, down five percent from last year. Looking ahead, larger screen sizes and innovative display features have more consumers upgrading their video experience.
Consumer excitement is driving growth in sales of high-resolution, large-screen televisions. Shipments of such displays are projected to reach 4.4 million this year, driven in part by the market introduction of new technologies.
Large screens continue to gather consumer dollars. As picture quality improves, consumers are turning to larger screen sizes, according to the association. Shipments of televisions larger than 40 inches will account for 63 percent of television shipped this year, a 10 percent increase from 2014.
Televisions are pivotal to the home entertainment case goods category and require a keen eye on shapes, sizes, cord management and component slots.
According to our surveyed consumers screen size is an important consideration when it comes to television purchases. Larger screens rule.
In fact, more than three-fourths (87.7 percent) said the primary television in their home was 37 inches or larger. More than a third (38.6 percent) said they own a television that is 55 inches or larger.
When asked what size television they would consider purchasing in the next six month to a year, 38.6 percent said they’d be in the market for a 55-inch or larger screen. Just under a fourth (22.8 percent) said they have their eyes set on a television between 37 inches and 52 inches.
A more in-depth report on the leather upholstery business is available for purchase via e-mail to LauraMcHan@ImpactConsultingServices.com or by calling (404) 961-3734.
Stanley Furniture’s Preserve Pavillion Console
Filled with cleverly concealed, full media functionality, Stanley’s Pavillion console from the Preserve collection offers entertainment storage in a classic design. Multiple shelves, drawers and an electrical outlet allow ease of use of consumer electronics . Suggested retail is $1,919.
Universal Furniture Curated Danbury Console.
The Danbury console from Universal offers an array of functionality in an appropriately scaled package. The console features a rough-hewn finish and offers consumers a variety of open and closed storage. Suggested retail is $999.
Drexel Heritage’s Flander Console
Showcased in a hand-painted finish, the Drexel Heritage console’s scale makes it multi-functional for a variety of television sizes. Flexibility is key and the piece includes adjustable shelves, a three-plug outlet and cord management for electronics.
Suggested retail is $2,299.
Hooker Furniture’s Sloan Console
Part of Hooker Furniture’s Mélange collection, the Sloan console features an open, eclectic look and finish that are adaptable to a number of upholstery colors. It also easily accommodates a 70-inch television. Suggested retail is $2,169.
Legacy Classic Furniture’s Barrington Farm Entertainment Console
The updated classic styling of the Barrington pairs with built-in function to house a variety of consumer electronics. A drop-down top drawer, optional beveled glass or wood door panels and cord management openings add to the ease of use. Suggested retail is $1,599.
aspenhome’s Bancroft Console and Hutch
The 84-inch size and the additional height with the hutch give the pieces the feel of an entertainment wall. Packed with features, the pair offers an opening for a sound bar, a pull-out shelf for a wireless printer and two outlets creating a complete entertainment solution. Suggested retail for both, $1,899. Console only $999.
Twin-Star International’s Fire Console
A clean contemporary design, Twin-Star’s console offers reversible cabinet doors allowing for a louvered door or plain door option. The console is outfitted with a Bluetooth-capable speaker with optional audio-visual input. The flame effect can be used with or without heat, and the console is also available in a driftwood finish. Suggested retail is $1,129.
A.R.T. Furniture’s Gables Entertainment Wall Unit.
Quite grand in design and scale, A.R.T. Furniture’s Gables six-piece entertainment center draws its inspiration from the Italian art and architecture. The center offers an abundance of storage for accessories and consumer electronics components. Suggested retail for the six-piece grouping is $9,999.
Magnussen Home’s Fraser Wall Unit
Offering consumers the option of hiding electronics, Magnussen Home’s Fraser wall unit features an urban design with rolling barn doors. Solid pine board and battan design makes each piece unique. Suggested retail is $3,499.
Sligh Studio Designs’ Criss Cross Console from Lexington
Crafted from five different wood species for color and grain contrast, Sligh’s Criss Cross console offers a number of functional elements. Adjustable and ventilated shelves provide storage and the cabinet boasts an infrared SmartEye for remote control. Suggested retail is $2,849.