Atilla Ilhan

Tech savvy and Texas roots fuel growth for Luna Furniture

HOUSTON — CEO Atilla Ilhan says Luna Furniture here combines many of his family’s areas of expertise into one successful enterprise.

Ilhan has a technology background while his brother, Orhan, has more than two decades of experience in furniture retail in their native Turkiye. Those strengths have blended to create a brand that is strong in e-commerce (it delivers to 48 states) and is on the rise in brick-and-mortar with stores in Houston and Dallas and plans for more.

Ilhan said placing an initial store in Houston in 2015 was by design because there is no shortage of opportunities in the metro of more than 7 million residents, plus it’s a hotbed of retail activity with many Top 100s to study.

Atilla Ilhan

“At the beginning when we started the business, we saw two major opportunities. The first was being in Texas. Texas is great for the furniture business,” Ilhan told Furniture Today. “We watched the big players because we wanted to learn from them. How they sell, how they manage their operations. Texas is a great place.

“Also, we have a young professional team. We understand the huge potential of online sales. We’re very comfortable with online sales. I’m not a furniture guy; I’m an online guy.”

Earlier this year, Luna added a second store in Dallas. And while it hadn’t had a brick-and-mortar presence there previously, it was already known.

“We’ve been selling products in Dallas for four or five years. When we opened the store in Dallas, our online sales doubled,” Ilhan said. “Having the store gave our customers more confidence. They might choose our products online, but they know there’s a physical store to come to if issues come up.”

The success in Houston and Dallas is prompting more growth. Ilhan said Luna plans to add showrooms in San Antonio and Austin later this year and has its sights set on Odessa or Lubbock in West Texas for further expansion.

Luna Furniture delivers furniture it sells online to the 48 contiguous states. Image courtesy of Luna Furniture.
Luna Furniture delivers furniture it sells online to the 48 contiguous states. Image courtesy of Luna Furniture.

Online, the retailers’ back end is sharp, with proprietary programs that get automatic updates from vendors and create dynamic pricing based on markets.

“We’ve developed a new system where the price we’re offering to somebody in Texas is not the same as it is in Florida,” Ilhan said. “When somebody opens the website in Florida, their price is not the same as it is in Texas. That allows us to compete everywhere.”

Supporting this growth in Texas and online is a series of distribution centers in Stafford and Houston in Texas, plus one in California and Maryland. Ilhan said the Maryland location, which opened at the end of 2023, looks particularly advantageous because of lots of affluent customers in the greater Washington D.C. metro. “We’re just delivering in that area. Virginia has great potential,” he said.

And while the company continues to do plenty of e-commerce business, Ilhan said the store openings and the reception they’ve received shows that having a growing brick-and-mortar presence is a correct choice.

“After 7 p.m. or 8 p.m., our sales go up on the website, even in Houston and Dallas,” he said. “We sell more (online) than we sell in the brick-and-mortar stores, but a lot of customers want to see it and sit on it in the store and want to go there. People still buy furniture from stores.”

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