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From Home Furnishing Business

Cover Story: Home Furnishings Business’ 9TH Annual Power 50 Retailers

As we complete 2019, traditional furniture stores still maintain just under 50% of total sales. Challenging their position is the lifestyle stores either manufacturer focused, such as Ashley Home or La-Z-Boy, or retail focused, such as Restoration Hardware or Pott ery Barn. Ecommerce continues to grow in total home furnishing sales, but the growth of real furniture (durable) has slowed.

Growth in mass merchants/discount retailers, such as Target and Big Lots, have shown growth as they discover the contribution of gross margin per square foot of selling space that the furniture product category provides.

The emerging consumers that follow the Baby Boomers are choosing their preferred channel of distribution based upon retail experience off ered. A recent survey by FurnitureCore (the research arm of Home Furnishings Business) separated the choices by age group. As can be seen from the table at left, regional chains are emerging as a preference for the under 45 age group, showing less of a preference for the Internet. It should be stressed that this survey is for furniture purchases over $300. The younger consumer (25-44) was very satisfi ed on a scale of 1-5 with 5 being very positive. The table below divides the response by age group.

Both of these points are contrary to the noise around the decline of traditional retailing. POWER 50 — METHODOLOGY Market share is the most heavily weighted factor determining who makes the list, accounting for 46% of the total score. It is determined by dividing the retailer’s estimated sales by the estimated retail sales of furniture and bedding in each of the markets in which the company participates, whether it is a metropolitan statistical area, micro statistical area, or a rural area. Sales of electronics, appliances, and housewares are not included. To arrive at a list of home furnishings retailers with the strongest online engagement, we measure by 14 separate metrics. Sources include Alexa, Facebook, MOZ, Open SEO, Twitt er, and Pinterest. On Facebook, for example, the number of “check-ins” and “likes” were among the metrics, as were the number of Twitter followers, Pinterest “pins” and Google Page Rank, just to name a few.

From that data, we used a basic ranking methodology, assigning a numerical value to the ranked list of each metric. (For example, the retailer with the highest number of Twitt er followers received a “1,” and so on.)

Then, we arrived at 14 individual scores calculated for each metric. After dropping the two highest scores to eliminate any outliers, the statistical average of the 12 remaining scores was used to calculate the fi nal social engagement score.

The fi nal factor in the Power 50 ranking is retail expansion, which accounts for 15% of the total score. Using public records, it measured store expansion and expansion into new markets. In addition to the Power 50, HFB compiled separate lists that ranked regional chains, large independents, vertically integrated retailers, and independents with sales of less than $50 million in a single state.

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