Even with a relatively weak economy, the furniture industry proves to be on the rise. Combined in-store and online purchases are forecast to grow 16.6 percent in the second quarter, according to an IBM forecast. This is due to a number of factors in the changing economy, according to retail and analytic experts:
- Homeowners are staying put: As home values continue to flounder, homeowners are staying in their current home for much longer and focusing on improvements.
- Homes are getting smaller, prompting the resizing of lifestyles and furnishings to accommodate.
- Disposable income is rising as more people go back to work.
- Rental activity is on the rise, with difficult lending restrictions and an uncertain industry, spurring more people to purchase furnishings.
Remodeling Goals Driving Furniture Industry Trends
An additional wrinkle in this trend is the change in what people are focusing on for their remodeling goals. A recent article in the Oregonian newspaper points to homeowners not only planning on staying put for much longer, but opting for projects they want to do rather than need to, unlike the past few years that were marked by mostly energy improvements and maintenance.
Also gone are the years of resale-driven projects to increase the value of a home upon a planned resale; homeowners are now making many more remodeling and redecorating changes based on their lifestyle and long-term enjoyment of their current home.
The Logistics of Furniture Retailers’ Opportunities
All of this points towards an increasingly robust home furnishing market. Furniture retailers have a growing opportunity to capture more of the growing marketplace and gain new and potentially loyal customers.
Along with this opportunity comes challenges, of course, and among the forefront is your company’s logistics approach. Often a make or break aspect of furniture sales, the storing, handling, and delivery of product have much to do with the efficiency and quality of service that leaves a lasting impression on your customers.
The Advantage of Third Party Logistics
A high quality third party logistics (3PL) provider can help retailers capitalize on this trending growth. A couple important ones to consider:
3PL providers can do it more efficiently:
A good TPL company has dedicated fleets, highly trained employees, and sophisticated technology intent on customer service, safety, and improved cycle times. They capture the overhead of staff, vehicles, warehousing, and equipment. It’s all they do, and they can generally get the job done faster and cheaper.
3PL providers can do it better:
The increased complexity of logistics, including such details as same-day delivery, custom installations, and aftermarket support, are frankly better handled by trained and focused experts who have seen it all, and have a plan. As customer expectations continue to rise even with tightened budgets, meeting expectations is essential for their happiness and returned business.
Diakon Logistics is among the forefront of national home delivery and third party logistics. Primarily focused on furniture, appliance, and bedding retailers, our solutions are tried, true, and customized for your company’s success and your customers’ satisfaction. Contact us today to see how we can help you successfully capture more of the growing furniture market.