Companies in this industry sell new furniture, home furnishings, and floor coverings. Major companies include Ashley Furniture, Bed Bath & Beyond, Haverty Furniture, La-Z-Boy, Pier 1 Imports, Rooms to Go, and Williams-Sonoma (all based in the US), as well as HOLA Home Furnishing (Taiwan), Home Retail Group (UK), and IKEA (Sweden).
Demand is driven by personal income and is tied to home sales. The profitability of stores depends on the right merchandising mix and marketing. Large companies have advantages in volume purchasing and breadth of product line. Small companies may thrive by focusing on a specific market segment and delivering superior service. The US industry is fragmented: the 50 largest companies generate about 45% of revenue.
Products, Operations & Technology
Major product categories are furniture and sleep equipment (50%); flooring and floor coverings (15%); kitchenware and home furnishings (13%); and curtains, draperies, bed and table coverings, slipcovers and blinds (7%). Most retail furniture stores sell a broad range of products, but some concentrate on one furniture type, such as mattresses, sofas, or office or children's furniture. Store operations involve sales management, merchandising (deciding which products to sell), inventory management, and (sometimes) credit financing. Some floor covering companies also offer installation or repair services.