There are many retail multiples, including Oak Furniture Land, DFS and ScS, which are growing sales of furniture, helped by a combination of new store openings and online developments. And many that began as online pureplays are discovering the value of opening shops as well. The lessons of the recent past illustrate that there is a ceiling on the number of stores a multiple can sustain. Also, retailers must continually focus their branding and price/value proposition in order to remain relevant to consumers. Although the market is buoyant at present, uncertainty hits big-ticket purchases fast so branding and marketing need to be robust in order to ride out the lows as well as the highs. Retailers must craft their image, shaping expectations of choice, styling and prices in order to attract customers and convince them of their relevance.
Online shopping has grown share of furniture retailing and has plenty of scope to grow. But shoppers want to complete the journey by judging items for themselves at a store. Today and in the future shoppers will spend less time in the shops and visit fewer stores, but will go shopping with a view to finalising the choices they have already screened out. To succeed in tomorrow’s furniture market retailers must create a compelling mix of great retail experiences which seamlessly work together to build a multichannel shopping experience.