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Editor’s Corner: Everything Everywhere

Furniture World Magazine


Editor's Corner


If watching the first third of a movie isn’t much fun, it’s my experience that it probably won’t get much better. On those occasions, I hang in there until the closing credits; I usually reflect, “That’s 107 minutes of my life I can’t get back!”

Everyone’s taste in movies is different. I’m one of the few who didn’t make it through the 1980s Leslie Nielsen comedy “Airplane” and, more recently, the multiverse-themed “Everything Everywhere All At Once.” For those of you who were focused on monitoring inventory levels and fretting over traffic metrics to the exclusion of all else in late 2023, EEAAO is a blockbuster multiverse-themed flick that earned critical acclaim and a Best Actress Oscar win for Michelle Yeoh. Although I’m a fan of Ms. Yeoh, I agree with a review found on www.rottentomatoes.com (credit to Lola on Film), which suggested in part that “it holds within it a great idea, when one disentangles it from the hairball that is the EEAAO narrative.”

For many folks in our industry, the first third of 2024 had a similar hairball feel, uncertain and difficult to unravel.

Consider the recent Furniture Insights newsletter published by the accounting firm Smith Leonard PLLC:

“New orders rose 6% in December 2023 compared to December 2022, marking the 8th straight month orders have grown over the prior year, though cooling off from the double-digit percentage growth we saw in the previous seven months. Approximately two-thirds of the participants reported increased orders in December 2023 compared to a year ago. For calendar 2023, new orders were up 5% over 2022, though 2022 year-to-date orders were down (31)% from 2021.”

If this report were a movie, viewers might leave the theater thinking, “How might I disentangle a great idea from all this?” The able CPAs at Smith Leonard don’t answer that question, noting that “Economic indicators, as well as our monthly stats, continue to provide mixed results and, accordingly, expectations for 2024.”

My intuition is that it’s too hard to untangle the uncertainty of 2024 or work to be everything, everywhere, all at once. There’s a lot in this FW issue that supports that view. Check out our optimistic interview with Michael Fiacco, CEO of Old Brick Furniture, Jennifer Magee’s coverage of “Retail Entertainment,” Nancy Fire’s Design & Designer insights and much more. Then hang in until the end and wait for the sequel in 2025.

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.