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Editor’s Corner

Furniture World Magazine


Editor's Corner


Most folks believe 2024 will be less than an inspirational year, likely to deliver an uninspiring economy, a cringe-worthy political season and disturbing world events. For these and other reasons, home furnishings retailers seem ready to approach 2024 conservatively. Most will continue the hard work they started during Covid to improve their systems, keep inventories in line and invest in their people to get the most out of every digital and in-store lead. It’s my guess that their marketing will focus on mining lists of previous shoppers and past customers to bring people back into stores to complete their next projects. Time-tested messaging, including event promotions, will attract shoppers already in or about to enter the market as dreamers or shoppers. In a business environment where generating incremental traffic will be paramount, they will also work to inspire new customers who have not previously considered them.

Bob Dylan said, “Inspiration is hard to come by. You have to take it where you find it.” In 2024, shoppers will find inspiration in your stores and your messaging or find it elsewhere.

Addressing that concern, design trend forecaster Michael Cleghorn points out in this Furniture World issue that inspiring what he calls the decorator category of customers will present the best opportunity for retailers to improve their businesses in 2024.

He suggests that Furniture World readers might reach out to those aspirational shoppers who currently shop at retailers like Crate & Barrel, Jonathan Adler, RH, Target, Zara and the many emerging digital brands. These operations, he points out, “have taken market share from more traditional brick-and-mortar furniture store brands that appeal to a wide audience.” Cleghorn believes that by offering shoppers an experience that “is more specific, inspiring and tailored to their aspirations,” furniture retailers will increase sales in the coming year. Read the interview on page six.

Another group of potential customers who might be encouraged to visit are those who are making do with what they have. “When it comes to the spaces they live and work in,” noted interior designer Gala Magriñá in the September/October edition of Furniture World, “many people believe it’s okay to spend most of their lives in subpar interior environments.” A key to inspiring this group to visit stores and improve their spaces is to let them know they deserve better. Appeal to their need to be healthier, sleep better, be more comfortable and reduce their anxiety level in a troubled outside world. Our industry is positioned to bring beauty and joy into people’s lives. And there’s science to back this up (see www.furninfo.com/furniture-world-articles/4063). People deserve better than the home environments they’ve settled for. And perhaps all they need in 2024 is an inspirational push in the right direction to make them realize that.

Wishing you good retailing,

Russell Bienenstock
Editorial Director/CEO

Russell Bienenstock is Editor-in-Chief of Furniture World Magazine, founded 1870. Comments can be directed to him at editor@furninfo.com.