Universally used and loved, furniture has a special meaning to their owner. Many people have their favorite piece of furniture that they cannot live without. An ultra-comfortable couch, a contemporary desk, a sophisticated dining room table, or a table that evokes comforting memories are all examples of how individuals feel about their favorite piece of furniture. The amount and type will vary, but everyone has furniture because it is a quintessential part of life. Beyond houses, furniture is found almost everywhere including businesses, schools, offices, restaurants, and retail stores. Life is generally made better using many pieces of furniture and yet few people take the time to think about where the items came from, how they were, specifications, statistics, and all the other minute furniture-related details. Statistics offer an interesting insight into the where, what, when, how, and why of furniture.
- In the United States, over 480,000 people are employed in the furniture industry in 2019. (Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics)
There are countless furniture stores across the nation from retail chains to mom and pop local stores. Retail stores employ sales staff and customer service personnel, and behind the scenes, there are the people that receive and deliver furniture, craft the pieces, assemble furniture, and perform repairs as needed. The combined total of the many facets of the furniture industry employs almost half a million people in the U.S. The furniture industry continues to increase in revenue and sales leading to further expansion along with more job opportunities.
- From 2014 to 2019, the furniture industry grew by 2.2%. (Source: IBISWorld)
Many people might not think about it, but furniture is an essential item needed for even the most basic living needs. As a result of necessity and a desire to customize their home through the color and design of the selected furniture, furniture sales have continued to increase. The industry continues to grow in line with consumer demand. For example, more people are telecommuting from their homes which results in an increase in office furniture sales. The Internet has made shopping much easier for consumers. Internet furniture sales have steadily increased due to the ease and convenience of shopping from anywhere.
- In 2019, the total revenue for the furniture industry is projected at $66 billion. (Source: IBISWorld)
Recovering from a revenue slump during the recession, the thriving furniture industry has been reaching record-breaking sales over the last several years. People were not spending as much on non-essential purchases and the furniture industry felt the loss as well as many others. The economy recovered and consumers have increased their spending across the board with revenue expected to steadily rise in 2020.
- At £602,500, the most expensive piece of Scandinavian furniture ever sold was Peder Moos’ Villa Aubertin Dining Table. (Site: Financial Times)
Sold in 2015, the most expensive piece of Scandinavian furniture ever sold was created by Peder Moos. Moos is a legendary figure in Scandinavian furniture design, and his work, mainly in wood materials, has been featured in multiple museums worldwide. Over 12 feet long, the dining room table has a unique design of thin curved legs with wing-shaped braces. Besides the table, Moos also had a substantial sale when a 1956 cabinet sold for £106,297 in 2014.
- Only 53% of people eat at the dining room or kitchen table; 30% of people eat on the couch, and 17% of people eat on their beds. (Site: The Atlantic)
With today’s society on the go more than ever before, almost as many people don’t eat at a dining room or kitchen table as do eat at one. People have started sitting on their couches to eat, and some have even taken to eating in their bedrooms. For the people not eating at a table, watching television or other media is most likely one of the main reasons.
- The average price for furniture reupholstery is $657. (Source: HomeAdvisor)
Reupholstery is no cheap fix. The craftsmanship that goes into reviving old furniture and giving in a new life is meticulous because it is a detailed process for the removal of old fabric, measurements, and the application of the newly selected fabric. A classic piece of furniture can be easily updated through the upholstery. The piece can be customized by selecting the cushion and fabric types along with other minute styling details. Some consumers prefer to update existing furniture when it gets worn down because of sentimental value or if they particularly like the piece.
- In 2018, 16.3% of US consumers bought a stationary sofa. (Source: Statista)
Sofas are common in almost everyone's home along with countless other businesses and organizations. As a result, stationary sofas are a top seller in the furniture world. The sofa is a central meeting location for conversations, meals, relaxation, and parties. Outside of the home, sofas are used for comfortable seating in waiting areas, hospitals, and offices. It is little wonder that stationary sofas are one of the best-selling pieces of US furniture.
- 31% of consumers will pay more than their budgeted amount if they find the perfect item. (Source: Small Business Trends)
Many consumers begin furniture shopping with a number already in mind that they do not want to go above. All it takes is the perfect item in the right size, shapes, design, and color to change their minds about a budget. Appealing financing options combined with free or reasonable shipping can also be deciding factors that alter the shopper’s willingness to spend more than they originally budgeted for. People are willing to pay more for a quality piece of furniture that fits their needs rather than settling for one.
- 84% of people prefer to buy their furniture new. (Source: FurnitureToday)
Most people prefer to get new furniture rather than buying it secondhand. The reason could be due to the longer life for new furniture or a desire to decorate a space with a specific color scheme in place. One of the many consumer benefits of purchasing new furniture versus a secondhand alternative is the ability to be the first to create memories with these items. Another benefit is that the furniture is in pristine shape with no wear and tear associated with previous use. The last contributing factor could be the availability of a manufacturer warranty that protects consumer investment.
- Approximately 30% of consumers are looking for a new couch. (Source: New York Post)
Arguably, couches might be one of the most used pieces of furniture in a home. They take a lot of wear as the central seating in many rooms. Couches are also a focal point because the design, color, and shape of a couch set the mood in a space. Often when people begin to redecorate a living room, family room, or basement the first piece of furniture to be replaced is the couch, and that purchase sets the tone for the rest of the project. When young adults move out for the first time, one of their first purchases is a couch for their new space.
- 27% of online consumers have not purchased an intended item if shipping costs were too high. (Source: Small Business Trends)
Many websites and stores offer free furniture shipping because people do not want to pay for shipping or pay what they consider to be an unreasonable price. High delivery fees can be a deal-breaker for many consumers. Many people will add the item to the online shopping cart to see how much the total would be including shipping. Potential buyers are more likely to take their business elsewhere when they are on the fence about a purchase if they are not completely satisfied with their delivery options. Free shipping helps consumers to feel like they've received a good deal on their purchase.
- 81% of consumers ranked quality as the top factor in furniture purchases. (Source: Statista)
Most consumers are concerned about how long their furniture will last. Many people consider furniture purchases an investment. Consumers overwhelmingly focus on quality as one of the largest contributing factors in their furniture purchase. Designs are great, but buyers want each piece of furniture to last for many years. Some consumers purchase their furniture with the intention of the piece to become a family heirloom to be passed down to future generations. The demand for luxury furniture is on the rise. Eco-conscious green furniture has also been a rising trend despite the higher price tag. Consumers have become more selective in their furniture purchasing by choosing higher-quality options with materials that match their preferences.
Style and function are the primary components of furniture. These items can be found almost everywhere and are considered a necessity for daily home and work life. Surprisingly, Americans think little about the furniture industry although they are constantly surrounded by items produced and distributed in the furniture trade. Consumers feel strongly about quality and are most frequently in the market for a couch. Industry statistics offer a unique insight into where furniture comes from and how consumers decide what pieces of furniture to buy.