From Home Furnishing Business
Bedrooms See a Lot of Action
The online sales potential is too big for furniture suppliers to ignore.
BY SHEILA LONG O’MARA
In case you were wondering, American bedrooms are used for much more than sleeping and, ahem, a welcoming space to “reconnect” with partners. Bedrooms are no longer just a safe haven for a peaceful night’s sleep. In fact, a Home Furnishings Business survey conducted last month of consumers who had bought bedroom furniture in the last 18 months reveals the bedroom as a mini-hub of the home. According to the 250 survey participants, reading, watching television and working on computers are the ranked as the top three activities consumers do in their bedrooms. It’s a busy room the households, and activities—other than the obvious—include paying bills, completing work from the office and doing school work. Knowing that all of those activities are taking place in bedrooms provides suppliers and home furnishings retailers insight into designing and flooring bedroom products that resonate with consumers and their needs. Nightstands with easy-to-reach power stations, for example, make sense for those plugged-in night owls. The category, which harnessed $8.8 billion in sales last year, has posted a cumulative growth of 12.7 percent since 2009. What may surprise some is that the category’s growth rate is the slowest among all categories, including dining room, which boasts a three-year growth rate of 13.06 percent. Bedroom represents 18.2 percent of furniture retailers’ sales, and it reigns supreme as retailers’ highest margin category at 49.1 percent.
More than 50 percent of the consumers in the survey report that their primary motivation for buying their bedroom was to replace their old furniture. Buying a new home came in at a distant second as motivation for buying with not quite 20 percent of the consumers citing their real estate purchase as the reason for a new bedroom collection. As one might expect, the showstopper is the bed. That’s the piece that a whopping 67 percent of our consumers were attracted to most from the collection of furniture they bought. The collection’s dresser was a distant second with a mere 14.7 percent.
It’s NOT the Price
While we as an industry tend to get bogged down on price and promotions that revolve around lowest, best pricing, consumers in our survey don’t appear to be driven by price. When asked about price expectations for a full bedroom suite with queen bed, dresser and mirror, chest, complete bed, nightstand nearly 84 percent fell in the price range of $1,000 to $7,999.
Traditional styling took a small lead ahead of contemporary designs with our consumers. Traditional designs eked past contemporary 38.2 percent to 33.8 percent. It is important to note that style preference is extremely subjective among consumer. Your declared contemporary could very well fall into some else’s traditional realm. While we in Furnitureland tend to seen a lot of upholstered headboards these days, it appears that consumers haven’t yet grasped hold of the trend. According to our survey, more than half—52.9 percent weren’t likely to buy a fully upholstered or partially upholstered headboard for their homes.
Sixty percent of the consumers surveyed said they prefer the look of wood over the upholstered headboards, and 23.3 percent said they didn’t even consider buying the upholstered version. Reasons varied from the concern of keeping the upholstery clean to fear of the style becoming dated too quickly to quality concerns.
What Suppliers Say
LEXINGTON HOME BRANDS
Tommy Bahama Home’s Ocean Club Paradise Point Bed from Lexington is a winner across all regions. With a suggested retail price of $2,529, the bed’s lasting success has a lot to do with its dramatic features—a woven rattan panel headboard framed by open fretwork design that continues down the side rails and footboard. The bed is a contemporary fusion of east and west with influence from islands of the Pacific Rim.
LEGACY CLASSIC FURNITURE
Evolution is Legacy Classic Furniture’s top-selling bedroom. Crafted in classic styling, the 9180 Evolution sleigh bed with dresser and mirror retails at $1,799. The bed alone is $799.
HGTV HOME AT BASSETT FURNITURE
European inspiration provides Caravan from HGTV Home at Bassett a casual, traditional feel. Available in a number finishes, like Midnight and Dusk. The collection features turned knobs with coin edging and oval ring pulls in an antique patina.
The Reflections bedroom is available from Vaughan-Bassett in six finish options, and the group is always in stock for quick delivery in any finish within six days. That flexibility offers retailers an entrée into the special order business without a lengthy consumer wait. Heavy moldings and bun feet convey a significant value to consumers. Retail on a queen storage bed is $799; $2499 for queen storage bed, dresser, mirror, and chest.
Old World, retail $3999. Talk about the sliding top nightstand with the concealed storage, drawer cheer has hidden storage in the parting rail below the top drawer. Gentle men’s vest has a valet on the RSF end panel - storage sells!
KLAUSSNER HOME FURNISHINGS
Klaussner’s LaSalle bedroom includes this contemporary bed featuring footboard storage and a two-tone espresso finish. Striking wood grains framed in black offer a modern design statement, and the hardware takes a nod toward contemporary. The bed retails at $699.
VAUGHAN FURNITURE CO.
Form follows function in Vaughan’s Simply Shaker Too collection available in master and youth bedrooms. A warm cherry finish accents cherry veneers, and a decorative molding of vine graces some pieces with metal knobs. Designs feature a deep cut base rail. Drawer fronts and top moldings are softly rounded for a clean, yet weighty look. Also available finished in white or black.
What Retailers Say
Be sure to check out our online gallery to see the bedroom products that a sampling of retailer say are their top sellers. You can find it at HFbusiness.com