Retailers hope July 4 sales give business a spark

HIGH POINT — As the calendar turns to July, furniture retailers are hopeful for a few days of fireworks in stores as they run sales to coincide with Independence Day.

In Ohio, Cleveland Furniture Co. has seen strong business, even as it’s seeing fewer customers year-over-year. “Our average ticket is way up; skyrocketed, actually. That’s really good for us but traffic is still off. Most of the traffic we’re missing is the lower price customer,” Paul Cirino, a partner in the retail business, told Furniture Today.

Cirino said CFC had a successful Memorial Day sale and is using the same approach during July 4. Highlights include discounts of up to 70% off floor sample mattresses and 50% off other floor samples.

“We’re continuing that because, although we did sell some nice high-end bedding floor samples and other samples throughout May and June, we still have more to do. It seems like it’s great ammunition to get customers shopping,” Cirino said. “We’re continuing with that and going on the local TV stations; we do New Day Cleveland, a popular midday show. We have a new store, and we’ll do on-location deals. Same message: clearance, discounts, floor samples, big savings and fast delivery.”

And while CFC is closed on July 4 itself, Cirino is hopeful that the approach will draw customers in. After all, he said, once they’re in the store, they tend to spend.

“Once we get people in, our close ratio is pretty good because not a lot of our competition in Northeast Ohio has a lot of product they can deliver. Our goal is get them in the door and do what we do,” he said.

Top 100 retailer 1915 South, which owns and operates Ashley stores across the Southeast, has had a good run recently, and officials hope that the good times keep rolling.

“We’re coming off a good June, and we’re very optimistic about this week. I think people are still in the market. In the Southeast, we’ve still got growth,” said Bill Dixon, vice president of merchandising and marketing for the Thomasville, Ga.-based retailer.

Dixon said 1915 South is using national sales promotions from Ashley as its guide and is offering hot buys, including a $299 queen bed, a five-piece dining set at $799, a two-piece sectional at $799 and a reclining sofa at $799, among some of its sharpest deals. It’s also offering interest-free financing with up to 60 months on furniture and up to 72 months on bedding.

“We try to meet where the customer’s needs are,” Dixon said. “If they need a longer term or no down payment, we have plans for that. That’s worked very well for us.”

And with Independence Day falling in the middle of the week, Dixon said it’s possible that the retailer gets two solid weekends out of it.

“When it falls midweek, we get good weekends on either end. It usually works out well when the Fourth of July falls midweek,” he said.

Muncie, Ind.’s Gill Brothers Furniture is holding its annual “Massive Overstock Selloff” sale with an either-or offer, which gives consumers the choice of a triple sales tax discount (or 21%) or 60 months equal pay through Wells Fargo.

“We just started it, and it will run through the July 4 holiday. We’ve got this sale that we run every year that we start in late June and run into July,” said Richard Gill, president of the three-store retailer. “We usually have a strong July written-wise when we run this.”

And since the sale has been a Gill Brothers staple, Gill is hopeful that this year’s edition generates business in what has been a tough year nearly everywhere for furniture retail.

“We’ve run this promotion for several years. Sometimes we change the offer up a little, but for us it’s one of our best promotions of the year,” he said. “We have a strong July when we run it. This year’s going to be interesting.”

See also:

  • How did Memorial Day sales live up to retailers’ expectations?
  • Limited fireworks: Retailers report spotty sales over July 4 (2023) week

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