From Home Furnishing Business
What Sells: Youth Furniture: Room for Growth
Time flies and as children grow, it is important that their furniture grows with them- transitioning through time from the first “big kid” bedroom set, to the personality driven tween and teen years, and finally, to a guest bedroom once that little one is no longer little and off on their own. At least, this is the ideal scenario that has been roundly embraced at the designer and manufacturer level. More importantly, this strategy has been proven and the category has started to witness growth.
All of this is great news for the retailers selling shopper savvy parents and grandparents who may initially balk at the idea of spending hundreds of dollars toward youth furniture they worry their child will simply outgrow. The category has been viewed as home essentials that unfortunately would have to endure the wear and tear of childhood just to be sold at a garage sale or donated to make room for life’s next steps. Luckily, due to design shifts and a new generation (Millennials) emerging into the furniture buying market, manufacturers are taking note of the growing demand of youth furniture and are finding unique ways to make the category more appealing by guaranteeing longevity and storage solutions for small spaces.
According to Lina Racaniello, VP marketing & ecommerce at Dorel Living, “We are starting to see more online interest and growth in the youth category as Millennials enter into the parenting stage of life. More specifically, new parents are looking for quality furniture pieces online, which reflect a modern aesthetic at an affordable price. Our Little Seeds collection fits perfectly into this growing customer demand. Our motto is that it all starts with a seed, and just as your little ones grow, their furniture can grow with them. Our furniture is created with quality and style in mind that can last throughout different growing phases. As small space living becomes the norm, we are constantly looking for clever ways to incorporate additional storage or sleeping space without sacrificing quality and price.”
Other manufacturers are ensuring endurance that will stand up to the stresses of childhood and beyond. Scott Sullens, VP of sales and youth merchandising at Legacy Classic, says, "When buying better end youth product, customers are looking for longevity. They want to know that when their child leaves the house, they will have furniture that also works as a guest bedroom. We are designing product that is relevant for today’s consumer with designs that transcends age.”
According to research based on a FurnitureCore industry model developed by Impact Consulting Services, parent company to Home Furnishings Business, when consumers were polled on their attitude towards a home furnishings purchase for a child’s room, an overwhelming majority of 69.7% reported that they furnished the room with stylish, good quality furniture to last for years to come. Only 21.21% of these consumers stated that they would not put much money into a child’s room due to destructive tendencies of young children. Another 9.09% said that their priorities where in other rooms within their home.
Honing in further on the trends surrounding the youth category, the same study found that over 55.6% of consumers hoped their youth furniture purchases would someday be used in a spare bedroom or their child’s first apartment. Only 33.3% purchased furniture for the sole use during childhood only, and 11.1% listed ‘Other’ as a response. Of these purchases, the favored style of youth furniture is Traditional, leading the pack with 66.67%. Contemporary was also popular at 25.93%, and Mission and Theme tied at 3.7%.
Retailers and retail sales associates, it is time to be confident in merchandising and selling the youth category. Watch your category sales grow!