From Home Furnishing Business
What Sells: DINING IN is STILL IN
2023 by HFBusiness Staff in Business Strategy, Industry
Looking back at dining room sales in 2020 and 2021, the unprecedented growth can be attributed to pandemicinduced nesting as consumers stayed in and dined at home. Decorating and home improvement projects peaked during this period and the dining room furniture category received its share of attention. As everyday living began its return to normalcy (and new norms) in 2022, sales in the category slowed—while still posting impressive growth over the previous year. According to a FurnitureCore, Inc. industry model developed by Impact Consulting Services (parent company to Home Furnishings Business), dining room sales across the industry increased from $16.56 billion in 2021 to $17.78 billion in 2022—an increase of 7.3% that is slightly above the 6.4% growth posted for the entire furniture industry.
While dining room furniture sales growth was down in the first quarter of 2022, it rebounded in the second quarter and climbed steadily throughout the year, finishing with 6.6% growth in Q4 over the same period in 2021.
Today’s top-selling dining rooms offer versatility and functionality. Expandable tables, including those with hidden table leaves, are trending as are customizable design options that allow consumers to choose their favorite finish, table size, and seating styles.
At Bellini Modern Living, the Lago table is popular for its variety of options, says Frederik Winther, vice president of sales. “In just 200 square feet, dealers are able to offer their customers a visually stunning dining table that expands three sizes, with a choice of four Italian ceramic tops and a choice of three sculptural bases.” Consumers love the durability and easycare of the ceramic tops featuring realistic stone patterns, and the self-adjusting/selfleveling system that automatically lifts the extra leaves hidden beneath the tabletop into place, Winther explains. Jofran’s Telluride Collection is all about scale as the dining table can be expanded to accommodate large groups with two breadboard extensions. “At 127 inches long with a relaxed Driftwood finish, it really makes a statement in any home,” says John Miranda, executive vice president of Jofran. Telluride’s coordinating bench seat option is another popular feature. Combining natural beauty and craftsmanship, Greenington’s Erikka dining collection is turning heads. Its solid Amber bamboo construction delivers a sustainability story that resonates with consumers while its streamlined designs complement an array of home décor styles. “We are very excited about the solid performance of Erikka as it has earned a place in our top sellers,” says Troy Lerew, vice president of sales.
Solid-wood construction is a key selling feature for many manufacturers. “Our Fall River Collection has been one of our best sellers because it’s hard to beat beautiful solid wood,” says Julie Grant, owner and creative director of Porter Designs. “All our wood designs are solid, and this set matches an entire collection that spans occasional, accent pieces and bedroom.
We find that buyers start with a few pieces and end up with the entire collection.” The Ziglar table from Fusion Designs is also revered for its solid wood craftsmanship. “Ziglar is a best-seller because customers immediately see the value in its solid wood, mortise-and-tenon construction, and love the fact they can choose from more than 30 hand-wiped finishes to suit their personal style and still have their dining furniture delivered quickly,” says Norm Schrock, sales manager at Fusion Designs.
Updated traditional continue to be well-received, as illustrated by Klaussner’s Trisha Yearwood Hometown collection. “We’ve seen very good traction on the Pennamon double pedestal table, it’s a classic look that’s been updated with a relaxed plank top and beautiful espresso finish,” says Ben Radoll, vice president of casegoods and import upholstery at Klaussner.
When it comes to personalization, the options are nearly limitless. At Wildwood, the Athena round table is consistently a best seller in its select line of customfinished furniture, says Meg Gilliland, director of marketing. “Its classic shape fits in a variety of settings, and the ability to choose any shade from Benjamin Moore’s array of over 3,500 paint colors gives designers more control over their colorways.”
The Phillips Collection is another supplier finding success with custom design options, says vice president Jason Phillips. “Our live edge dining table continues to thrive for several reasons: It speaks to our company’s ethos of sustainability and environmental stewardship which our customers connect with; it’s stunning in appearance, exceptionally constructed, and each one is unique. We sell each table as a one-of-akind SKU and it has taken years to master the procurement, drying, photography and technology required to support this sort of business, and ultimately packaging and freight to our customer.” The company is thrilled with the number of reorders and the positive reactions from clients on these unique models, says Phillips.