Just how long is the path to purchase for furniture shoppers?

NEW YORK — That consumer who wanders through the furniture store or browses on a retailer’s website may be a few hours or as long as several days or weeks into the actual buying process.

The Provoke Insights Summer 2024 survey, conducted in conjunction with Furniture Today, shows that 60% of consumers who recently purchased a new furniture item extended that buying process over several days or weeks, with another 19% acknowledging it was a months-long endeavor. Some, however, can pull the trigger on a purchase in a matter of minutes (7%), while 15% said it take them hours to decide.

Recalling their recent purchases, just more than half (52%) said they bought a new furniture brand vs. 48% that went with an already familiar one. Pre-planning is the norm among furniture shoppers, with 77% saying they planned their most recent purchase. Still, that leaves nearly one-quarter who are making spontaneous buys.

One-third of those planning to buy furniture this year are expecting to spend more than $1,000. Broken out by demographic group, the bigger spenders are likely to be households earning $150,000 or higher (50%), impulse shoppers (47%), and Black (45%) and Hispanic (43%) consumers.

Where are people shopping for furniture? Chain furniture stores were cited by 32% of respondents as their preferred outlet, followed by 29% who buy from local furniture stores. Other venues were big box stores, mentioned by 25%; home improvement stores, 21%; home décor stores, 18%; warehouse clubs, 17%; department stores, 15%; and bedding specialty stores, 15%.

Looking at the high-income household group, this demographic was more inclined to shop chain furniture, home décor and department stores. Gen Z was more partial to big box and home improvement outlets while Baby Boomers favored chain and local furniture stores.

Furniture purchases have remained steady over the past year, the survey found, with 13% of respondents buying furniture within the past month. This is up just one percentage point from fall 2023 and matches what consumers reported in spring 2023 and spring 2021. The only anomaly came in 2022 when furniture purchases dropped to 9%.

The top five categories that are on people’s shopping lists for the year are mattresses, sofas/loveseats, lamps/lighting, outdoor furniture and bedroom furniture.

The Provoke Insights Summer 2024 survey, which was field in April, polled a representative sample of 1,500 U.S. consumers ages 21 to 65.

See also:

  • Affluent soccer moms? Niche groups could lead furniture buying next year
  • Shoppers want 3D tools in-store and online, new study shows

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