Are we as an industry approaching a positive tipping point? Sure, a case can be made that many home furnishing retailers and manufacturers are rife with sameness and lack of innovation. It’s also true that most retailers are going into 2015 with modest expectations for growth, accompanied by a dearth of breakout styles and trends capable of catching public imagination. However, there are reasons to be very optimistic. Business is improving, and among our (mostly female) customers, interest in style and design is huge and growing. Better yet, it is now possible to connect to our (largely female) customers in ways that were never before possible. For most retailers, addressing these opportunities in more than a superficial way requires substantial effort. Fortunately, this edition of Furniture World can help.
Here we focus on the most important challenges and opportunities facing home furnishings retailers in 2015. You will find practical advice about how to better understand, reach out to and serve more women and design oriented customers. These are probably your best customers as well, so we’ve included practical ideas on how to keep new competitors from stealing them away, to engage them in creative ways, and exceed their expectations. It’s the 2015 recipe for success.
Russell Bienenstock is Editor-in-Chief of Furniture World Magazine, founded 1870. Comments can be directed to him at firstname.lastname@example.org.