AT HIGH POINT MARKET — While retail is still overstocked for the most part, retailers made the trek to last week’s High Point Market in hopes of finding product that will sell on the floor, particularly as they move on from items that they bought when the supply chain was at its tightest.
At the market, Furniture Today caught up with retailers from 21 stores and asked: Where are your greatest areas of inventory need? Are there categories that you plan to give more square footage in your showroom?
Here’s how they responded:
Christian Roth, Backbone Home, Festus, Mo.
We’re looking for bedding and stationary upholstery. That’s what we’re here for at this market, looking for new vendors. We found some and opened some great new accounts with vendors we hadn’t seen before.
Matt Pridemore and Rob Ball, dealers, Badcock Home Furniture & more
Rob: I’m looking for more contemporary stationary leather. You see a lot of things people 40 and under are looking for a different look for their living rooms.
I think the most important place to be in right now is dining. There’s a lot of new things on the dining side so that’s going to be a real opportunity.
Matt: I’m going to cut down on kids’ furniture. That’s not a main line thing for the way business is right now.
Jamie Merida, Bountiful, Easton, Md.
We’re not overstocked but we’re fully stocked. I’ve had to make the decision in the last couple of days when people offer me deals if I want to take it from their warehouse to mine and if it’s cost-effective to do that. I was able to make that kind of deal for some wall décor earlier. Another vendor was offering half off wholesale if you buy six pieces of upholstery.
Bo Coconis, Coconis Furniture, Zanesville, Ohio
I feel like case goods are a little more wide open. It’s nice to see new product and make plans for 2023. We still have a couple of months left this year to get rid of some stuff. It’s the first time in about three years that there have been new items to choose from.
Motion is continuing to grow. As new intros happen with stationary looks, we’ll probably put some of those in our stationary displays.
Tom Balistreri, Colder’s, Milwaukee
Leather. Stationary leather is an area we could shore up. We’ve found a couple of sources for it at this market. We need a domestic supplier.
We have been, for the last nine months, re-assorting our floor. Now we’re going back to the model of buying a container if necessary and realigning with domestic resources for leather.
Kristy Craig Anderson, Dwell Home Market, Tampa, Fla.
Bedroom is probably the biggest area. It’s always difficult to find fresh, on-trend bedroom furniture.
If I’m giving more room to anything, it will probably be upholstery and décor. Those would be the biggest two.
Jeff Winter, Furniture Mall of Kansas, Olathe, Kan.
Our biggest inventory need is less. We’re overstocked on higher priced goods. We’re here at market trying to readjust it. We’ll be a adding a lot of more lower-priced goods. We’re seeing some exciting things. The last few markets have been let’s get what we can get. Now we can be more selective.
Jeff Godby, Godby Home Furnishings, Noblesville, Ind.
We’re like everybody else; we’re full. We’re down about 10% from the high level we were at a couple of months ago for in-stock inventory.
We’re getting to the point that we’re seeing something new from everybody. I feel like most of the manufacturers are showing new product so that’s exciting.
Our mix is good. We sell a lot of motion furniture, so we might bet a little stronger in motion. Outdoor is a nice seasonal so that’s a possibility. We sell a ton of lift chairs so we might do more advertising that we offer them.
Christa O’Leary, Home in Harmony, Hingham, Mass.
We keep low inventory because we don’t have a lot of storage space. We try to find vendors who, if something is selling well, we can reorder quickly. I have a passion for local artists and art pieces have been huge. People love the idea of having unique things in their homes so art is one area where going to spend a little extra.
Where we’re going to add is in the accent area to maximize the dollars per square foot and creating vignettes to show how the products will fit in the customer’s home. That’s our big focus.
Braden Miller, Millers of Clafin, Clafin, Kan.
It’s still same for us, finding higher-end case goods.
I think we’ll stay with the same mix. We sell a lot of upholstery. Our home office business has been really good in our main store.
Oscar Miskelly, Miskelly Furniture, Jackson, Miss.
We’ve got a need to see some product. We’re in good shape and we’re not as overstocked as some people. We can be open-to-buy if we see the right opportunity and we still have some warehouse space available.
We’re going to give more space to motion and mattresses and general upholstery.
Michael Dornblum, Modloft, North Miami, Fla.
You always have to keep product in the pipeline and in development. You always want to offer something unique with a great value to customers and designers. You might not pull the trigger as fast on the purchase orders but you want to stay current.
Nora Gomez, NFM, Omaha, Neb.
We’ve positioned ourselves with some liquidity so we can shop for deals while we’re looking and pass those savings to the consumers. The most important thing for us is that we’re offering the customer what they need while offering the value that NFM is known for.
Nancy Mikulich, Oasis Home Designs, Asbury Park, N.J.
I think it varies from market to market. As far as my store, I’m in a beach community so a lot of my retail volume is seasonal. I have a lot of big box competition and the retail drives the design business and brings me design clients.
What I’m looking for is accessories so I can restyle the displays in the store.
Kaleigh Morgan, Seaside Furniture Gallery & Accents, North Myrtle Beach, S.C.
We’re looking at ordering what might take a little while and we’re looking for opportunities. We’re a coastal store so the things we do well in, the different leathers and fabrics, etc. We’re seeing things we like right now.
Mark Kimmel, Speedy Furniture, Kittanning, Pa.
(We’re looking for) upholstery. It is still our best-seller. We feel like we have a good mix of product categories.
Jim Fee, Stoney Creek Furniture, Stoney Creek, Ontario, Canada
I think we managed our inventory well during the pandemic. We didn’t get the big buying push like they did in the states from the vendors.
Unit-wise, we’re in good shape. We’re at market looking for fresh things but our overall blend is pretty good.
Gloria Fox and Steve Purdy, Virginia Furniture Market, Rocky Mount, Va.
Gloria: My store’s a little different, it’s more special order.
Steve: We did a big reset in our store and brought in a Stressless gallery and more high end and we have a nice display with Best Home Furnishings.
David Cox, Woodstock Furniture Outlet, Acworth, Ga.
Basic everyday dining is what we’re focusing on. We’ve got basic dining, rustic, one-of-a-kind but we’re looking for more because all the opening price points have changed.