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From Home Furnishing Business

What Sells: If It’s Wood, You Know It’s Good

The industry already knows that the term “solid wood” was once thrown around so casually that the phrase lost nearly all meaning during the rush of imports in the onset of the 2000s. Consumers became desensitized to terms like plywood, fiberwood, and veneer as they were won over by the lower price point that these alternatives offered. Luckily, retailers and more importantly, consumers, are beginning to realize once again the cachet built into products that are made of 100% good old solid wood.

There are many advantages that come along with solid wood products, like each product’s unique character or ease of maintenance to name a few. But most notably, wood is known for its longevity, which alone is a point of product differentiation from engineered wood alternative furniture, and places solid wood products in the high or premium quality category. Consumers have begun to rediscover their taste for these durable products and appreciate the quality and fine craftmanship. “Demand for American made hardwood furniture is on the rise,” says Ivan Keim, of Abner Henry Fine Furniture. “We enjoy providing designers with options to give their clients what they want. High end consumers want it the American way, which is quality that will last and is a one of a kind piece.”

Many solid wood manufacturers are quick to note another point that is ever important to today’s consumer: a fresh update. “Over the last few years,” says Luke Simpson, president and CEO of Durham Furniture, “our dealers have resoundingly shared with us that consumers are looking for solid wood furniture that has traditional bones, yet is updated for today.” Speaking on his featured product for the category, he notes that, “The Prominence [collection] hits the mark with its sophisticated silhouettes which are updated with contemporized finishes and hardware for today’s consumers.”

The thought is echoed by Charles Curry, vice president of sales and strategy for Simply Amish, “One of the biggest challenges of having the name Simply Amish is being stereotyped stylistically.” He says, “It’s fun to offer a collection [Elroy Bedroom] that hit a little design groove, that makes consumers smile, and that sells!”

With the rising demand for solid wood pieces, consumers were happy to chime in on their preferred tastes for a FurnitureCore survey (developed by Impact Consulting Services, parent company to Home Furnishings Business). When asked, “Based on your most recent bedroom purchase, why did you choose a wood bed over an upholstered bed?” an overwhelming majority (62.75%) of the consumers polled reported that they simply preferred the look of wood. This was followed by 21.57% noting their concern that an upholstered bed would become dated quickly, and 9.8% were concerned about the quality of an upholstered bed. These concerns are answered directly by what solid wood manufacturers have been offering all along— timeless, durable classics designed with the consumer in mind.


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