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Consumers Place Comfort and Durability Atop List of Most Important Furniture Attributes

Furniture World Magazine

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Comfort and durability top the list of attributes consumers consider most important when purchasing furniture, according to a survey recently commissioned by DuPont. In addition to comfort and durability, consumers in the survey add style and shape to the list of tangible attributes they consider during furniture purchase decisions. Furniture branding and design features are the least important traits, say consumers. Survey responses also identify emotional traits that influence a purchase decision. Leading that list is the furniture's ability to remain new-looking and improve the overall look of the room. The survey looks at the importance consumers attach to these and other furniture attributes as they select and purchase furniture. Designed to better understand consumers' purchase decisions, the research also addresses the value of added features and the willingness of consumers to pay more for nonstandard options. Consumers recognize the value that added features bring to a piece of furniture. Most important to them is flame resistance, followed closely by fabric type, cleanability and stuffing or cushions. Dust mite control ended the list. Added features aside, consumers perceive less tangible but identifiable differences between a $500 sofa and a $1,000 sofa. Improved quality, increased durability and better fabric and seamsmanship are the characteristics most frequently associated with the more expensive product. Consumers Define Furniture Attributes: Comfort tends to be a physical attribute that consumers apply to sofas and fabrics on sofas. Consumers relate furniture performance to durability and apply the term more frequently to recliners than sofas. In turn, they view durability as a function of both quality and construction. In the eyes of the consumer, a quality sofa will be a durable sofa. Consumers identify quality as a product of comfort, performance, style, durability and construction. Often, they rely on the manufacturers, brand, price or store to help determine quality. According to Karen Ellis-Brisbon, business and segment manager for DuPont's Furniture Group, "The research findings provide valuable insight into the factors that influence consumers as they select and purchase furniture. It also confirms our belief that comfort and durability play significant roles in most furniture purchase decisions. DuPont DuraLife fiberfill appeals to both of these important attributes, helping furniture cushions retain their shape while delivering superior loft and comfort." DuPont commissioned J.R.P. Marketing Research Services, Media, PA, to conduct its research in December 1999. DuPont is a science company, delivering science-based solutions that make a difference in people's lives in food and nutrition; health care; apparel; home and construction; electronics; and transportation. Founded in 1802, the company operates in 70 countries and has 94,000 employees. DuPont DuraLife™ fiberfill technology: Description: DuPont DuraLife™ fiberfill technology creates a soft luxurious cushion where a full look is desired. Cushions made with DuraLife™ branded fibers are lofty and provide durable support. Benefits and Copy Points: Engineered fiber for maximum loft and support Exclusive slickener provides low surface friction, resulting in greater softness Technologies inside include: 1) Helical crimp, high-void fibers provide great fill power vs. solid fibers of equivalent weight. These fibers also give the user a wider range of "soft to firm" feel without sacrificing product appearance. 2) Patented molded polyester fiber cluster system that maintains 85-95% of its height after years of use. Recovers to original shape and appearance after continuous use Resists matting and clumping Resists mildew Hypo-allergenic Non-absorbent Manufactured to DuPont quality standards