Furniture Dealers ‘Desperate’ for Inventory: Report

By Alan Wolf, YSN

A new report by Furniture Today Strategic Insights underscores the toll that supply chain disruptions have taken on home furnishings retailers.

According to the study, nearly 40 percent of furniture merchants describe their inventory position as “weak” or “desperate, the trade journal reported, due to manufacturing and transportation delays.

Retailers are further vexed by vendor ambivalence. Nearly a third of those surveyed by Furniture Today Strategic Insights said they were dropped by one or more suppliers over the past year, while “a dramatically higher percentage” aren’t receiving sufficient merchandise from current suppliers to meet their needs.

Further compounding the problem is the impact of the pandemic on furniture markets and trade shows, which have been limited, delayed or cancelled.

But furniture manufacturers and retailers have managed to pivot to new networking and product acquisition strategies, the report showed, including virtual markets, video showroom tours and pop-up events like the High Point Market’s First Tuesday pre-show. Indeed, nearly 60 percent of retailers surveyed said they have participated in one of the emerging virtual options.

The study, “The Market for Markets: Assessing Retailer Needs in a Disrupted ‘Market’ Place,” queried retailers, manufacturers and key exhibition companies on the future of on-site trade shows; the challenges facing dealers; the impact of the pandemic on cash flow and open-to-buy dollars; and the product categories topping retail wish lists for the coming year. The complete report is available for purchase at the publication’s Furnishings Research Store.