Travel broadens my observations … including about furniture retail | Jerry Epperson

My family took my wife and me on a vacation in the Tennessee mountains last month, and I got away from my routine, which lent itself for some observations.

First, we live in a pickup truck intensive region and, on this trip, saw more than ever. When did people stop buying two-door trucks?

Second, apparel has been dominated by denim for a long time for all occasions, but its market share is clearly being challenged by yoga pants or tights, whatever is the right name. They are everywhere.

Third, Americans are spending money and available credit on entertainment, dining out, travel and all types of experiences. Everywhere was crowded, or so it appeared to us. I was surprised.

But retailers are being threatened as never before by theft, violence and criminal activity.  Furniture and mattress stores have not been subject to the “gang smash and grab thefts” experienced elsewhere, probably because it’s difficult to run away carrying a sofa or mattress.

But we are still seeing a wave of criminal activity. Speaking to store managers, they mentioned one cause being the labor shortages over recent years and that they are forced to hire people they normally wouldn’t.

Others blamed this lengthy economic slowdown, resulting in households that cannot cope with minimal opportunities for financial growth. Of course, this includes recent inflation, which doesn’t want to stop.

Business at retail is more dangerous than it was decades ago, and I don’t see what will change it soon. Did I mention how it is affecting profits?

Business is tough enough without having to hire armed guards.

See also: Charting the furniture industry evolution | Jerry Epperson

The post Travel broadens my observations … including about furniture retail | Jerry Epperson appeared first on Furniture Today.

Posted in: Uncategorized