In recent years the furniture industry has seen many ideas and styles
recycled. We’ve witnessed a resurgence of Mid-century modern and more
recently, a trend toward a floral, country-influenced aesthetic now known as
cottagecore. Design maximalism and minimalism are trending at the same time.
And, traditional-influenced furniture styles are coming back in a strong way.
People have gone back to adopting their grandparents’ hand-me-down
furniture as home decorating gems instead of putting them on the curb.
What’s old has been made new again—often with a new twist.
Much like recovering grandma’s vintage sofa in a cool, new fabric, our
industry continues to expand the time-tested retail ideal of providing good,
old-fashioned customer service. Now it’s been re-branded and updated
under the heading of “customer experience management.” Spurred on
by the likes of Amazon, new ideas about store design and technological
advances allow furniture stores to compete by looking at new ways to keep
customers engaged and happy, removing obstacles to better sales and growth.
Furniture World readers who are interested in further improving how customers
experience their stores will find the March/April 2022 issue to be an
Jennifer Magee’s article, “Design For Customer Service,”
looks at different ways retailers can use store design and technology to help
customers feel comfortable and cared for as soon as they enter in-store
environments. Innovative store design is one of the best ways to reduce the
anxiety and frustration encountered in many shopping experiences.
David McMahon explains how retail automation for pre-sales and open sales
opportunities can make purchasing home furnishings easier for shoppers and
trigger a variety of follow-up strategies to make sure that questions and
inquiries don’t fall through the cracks. Automation can also enhance
customer access to information from first contact to the post-sale service
For this issue, we interviewed Brian Morgan, a founding partner of Texas-based
retailer Couch Potatoes, who explained why a cold beer goes a long way toward
setting the stage for a good customer experience. The Couch Potatoes store is
a case study in how cultivating a store-wide attitude of caring for people can
make a big difference in people’s lives and their experience of a
Finally, sales educator Scott Morris’ article, “Closing
Moxie” provides perspective on the skill of closing. Some sales
techniques have come to be viewed as manipulative. But, when used correctly,
these tools enhance the customer experience by breaking down the anxiety and
indecision customers bring with them into stores and help customers make the
best possible buying decision.
Russell Bienenstock is Editor-in-Chief of Furniture World Magazine, founded 1870. Comments can be directed to him at firstname.lastname@example.org.