From Home Furnishing Business
The Great Outdoors
The groundhog delivered a gift last month when he didn’t see his shadow predicting spring was on its way.
Despite tumultuous tornados across the Southeast and a few snowstorms in the Midwest since Feb. 2, it appears the rodent may have gotten right and milder weather is making its move. Consumer minds are turning toward outdoors and outdoor entertaining as they wake from hibernation.
Cabin fever and the desire for dining al fresco can deliver a bevy of sales for retailers in the casual furniture category—a category that continues to post steady growth.
Looking back over the last few years, the outdoor furniture industry has gone from $3.51 billion in 2013 to $3.79 billion in 2015. The category grew 5.36 percent from 2014 to 2015, and forecasts call for another 5.4 percent increase from this 2015 to 2016.
Not too shabby.
Consumers continue to turn to outdoor living spaces turning patios, porticos and poolside full extensions of their homes. The downside for furniture retailers is the channel consumers are choosing to buy their casual furniture.
According to the latest Home Furnishings Business survey of consumers who have recently purchased outdoor furniture, home improvement stores remain at the top of the list of distribution channels for consumers buying the category. Nearly 33 percent shopped Home Depot or Lowe’s for the category and 26.1 percent made their purchase at the chains. Outdoor furniture specialty stores came in second for consumers with 21.7 percent of the sample shopping at the specialty stores and the same number—26.1 percent—bought from the specialty store.
Compare those numbers to the 13 percent who said they shopped traditional furniture stores for their outdoor furniture. Slightly more than 21 percent (21.7 percent) made their purchase from a traditional furniture retailer.
Despite the lower percentage, there is good news in the numbers for traditional furniture retailers. The 21.7 percent is up significantly from the 6.6 percent of consumers who last year said they’d made their outdoor furniture purchase from a furniture retailer. Mass merchants like Target and Walmart were the losing channel. In last year’s survey, 23 percent of consumers said the discounters were their go-to location for their purchase. This year, that percentage dropped to 13 percent.
When it comes to cost, consumers are on the stingy side. Nearly 70 percent said they spent $999 or less for their recent casual furniture purchase. At the other end of the price spectrum, 13 percent said they spent $2,500 or more on their most recent purchase.
Twenty percent of those surveyed cited pricing being too high was a barrier in the process. Other issues they encountered included lack of selection in finding what they wanted (20 percent); inability to judge quality of the furniture (10 percent); available quality did not meet standards (5 percent); and salespeople who weren’t knowledgeable (2.5 percent).
The majority of the surveyed consumers have relatively long life expectancies for their purchases. They aren’t looking to replace their furniture next season. More than 56 percent (56.5) said they expect to use their purchase for between three and eight years. Nearly 22 percent think their furniture will last more than 10 years.
A more in-depth report on the outdoor category is available for purchase by e-mailing Laura McHan at Laura@FurnitureCore.com
Outdoor percentage of 2015 furniture sales
2015 outdoor furniture sales
Outdoor furniture 2015 sales growth
OW Lee’s Monterra
Featuring deep seating, OW Lee’s Monterra offers a cocoon setting. Signature side arm pillows and pillow-stuffed back cushions are highlighted by flat bar and rivet details. Retail starts at $1,525.
Kingsley Bate’s Sag Harbor
Made from all-weather wicker in natural colors, Sag Harbor consists of a range of items for different applications and configurations. The collection includes dining, deep seating, and sectional pieces.
Treasure Garden’s Veranda
The Veranda mounts directly to a wall without the need for a pole or base. Available in a 5’ x 10’ rectangle model, the umbrella pushes up and locks into place without cranks, cords or pulleys. Suggested retail $895 in Sunbrella or Outdura; $695, Obravia.
Palm Springs Rattan’s 4300
Designed to seat 8, the 4300 dining set is crafted of synthetic woven wicker and offers outdoor cushions. The contemporary dining table is of a baked on powder coating finish. Seating includes decorative cushions and high backs.
Pride Family Brands’ Park Place
The Park Place by Castelle from Pride Family Brands offers multi-configuration components that feature a modern aesthetic for patio, terrace or poolside. The Park Place is handcrafted with contemporary lines. Suggested retail $15,825 with pieces shown.
angleo:HOME by Walker Edison
The Coastal four-piece Wood Chat from angleo:HOME collection is made from solid, acacia wood in a vintage, weathered-gray finish. The deep-seated RTA design features wide, plush cushions. Suggested retail is $1,299 as shown.
A blend of of cozy comfort and sophisticated style, Cortland combines design and on point fabrics with hefty welding. The collection features timeless details and a rust-proof aluminum frame. It is available in countless fabric and finish options to fit a variety of needs. Suggested retail is $1,392 per chair as shown; $2,425 for chat-height fire table with cast top.
Klaussner Outdoor’s Cascade
The two-piece Cascade sectional featuring a chaise and loveseat is ideal for areas smaller outdoor spaces. Designed with a traditional to contemporary feel, the collection features a slightly wider sloping arm for comfort with a bold look. Suggested retail is $2,699.
Kenzo by Tropitone Furniture Co.
Modern, sleek styling set the tone for Kenzo. The collection offers an array of cushion, woven, sling and padded sling seating options. Sleek lines give the group the ability to complement many outdoor spaces. Suggested retail for the group shown in an A grade fabric is $10,999.
Brown Jordan’s Pasadena
A nod to mid-century design and the birthplace of Brown Jordan Co., Pasadena’s sleek profile exudes understated sophistication. The collection frame features a smooth, flat aluminum extrusion in a gentle curvilinear. Sweeping lines seen on the arms and back legs highlight the beauty of the chair’s construction. Pasadena is available in both sling and padded sling styles. Suggested retail for sling lounge chair is $1,070; padded lounge chair is $1,225.
Opal Lounge Group by Jensen Leisure
The Opal Lounge Group offers comfort with transitional styling. Created in FSC Ipe timber by Swedish designer Dick Bjork, this group includes two lounges, a loveseat, side table and coffee table. Suggested retail as shown with cushions is $6,399.
Oxford Garden’s Tavira Collection
The Travira collection features a clean, contemporary and timeless design across a variety of products. The breadth of the line, combined with its low-maintenance material options, appeals to the varied preferences and needs of many customers.
Barlow Tyrie’s Aura
Aura offers an aluminum frame with teak accents for low maintenance. The table is available in various dining lengths and heights, and matching sun loungers are available in three frame colors. Slings are offered in four colors. Suggested retails begin at $532 per chair and $1,300 for the table.
Andalusia from Century Outdoor
Andalusia has always been a best-selling collection for Century Outdoor. Hence, the company added the swivel rocker lounge chair, which has become a top seller. Combined classic Mediterranean style in the comfort of a swivel rocker allows for luxurious outdoor living. Suggested retail is $3,765.