Sunday, July 10, 2016

Buying furniture made in America

In 1996 Canada was the biggest exporter of furniture to the United States. It had overtaken Taiwan. America imported $1 billion worth of furniture from Canada. Taiwan was in 2nd place with exports of $950 million. It was the first time that Taiwan had slipped from its numerouno position since 1983.
In 2015 China exported $13 billion worth of furniture to America. Canada exported $1.25 billion while Taiwan exported $430 million (source Furniture today).

America furniture manufacturing

In 2007 Bassett Furniture Industries, in Bassett, Virginia closed its furniture manufacturing plant in Basset. Prior to that during the mid-20th century this company was one of the largest wood-furniture manufacturers in the world. At one point they employed over 10,000 people across the many plants.  The J. D. Bassett Manufacturing Company, manufactured bedroom and dining-room furniture of a certain class and pricing, and Bassett Superior Lines manufactured less expensive furniture for the family. Several other plants manufactured chairs, tables, and fiberboards.

In 2007 this great company was shutout by cheaper Asian imports. Now they sell imported wood products and only about two hundred plus people are employed. This is the story across America as between 2002 and 2012 over 62,000 American factories shut shop that manufactured every day goods like, shoes, textiles, furniture and other items necessary for the consuming middle class of America. And the effect was felt deeply in Virginia along the stretch of Smith river where more than 19000 Americans lost their manufacturing jobs between 2002 and 2013.

Can you buy American made furniture in 2016?

The answer is a resounding Yes. You can buy American made furniture in large department stores as well as smaller furniture stores as well as online. Furniture now reviews web pages often get letters from satisfied buyers who have bought American manufactured furniture. There is a very small downside though. The lower priced furniture is totally dominated by Asian imports. The mid-range higher end quality furniture is available and well worth the price. The design is quintessential American and for a few hundred dollars more a classic American made sofa can be yours.  Remember this next time you are in the market for furniture. This is how you can do your bit of making America great gain. Buy American made furniture.

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Thursday, July 7, 2016

Furniture retailing online challenges

The new wave for furniture retailing is bricks and clicks. The question is it working? Are they getting more sales? The answer is an emphatic no. The reason is many of the websites are shying away from pricing online. Shopping carts on their websites is slow moving primarily for this reason.
Visitors to websites are quick to abandon the site if no pricing is shown. An infographic perhaps best explains this statistic

An overwhelming proportion (more than 80%) of visitors will leave.

A discussion on cause and effect of eating furniture is well worth the effort.

People buy furniture only when it is absolutely necessary. Very rarely it is an impulse buy. The factors that influence furniture buying include
·         Space planning
·         Color coordination
·         Accessorizing
·         Customizing

These factors are complicated. Only an actual brick and mortar store can provide the touch and feel experience. Importantly most retailers have built up an element of trust over a period of time. Their in house designers or decorator is on hand to give advice and when it comes to financing can be very creative for people who may have issues with credit. All said and done the local players are still coming to grips with ecommerce. Plus their overheads of selling from inventory make them less competitive than say Walmart or Amazon.
However in their defense it can be said that they are fast catching up. With the advent of facebook and other social media advertising local demographics is coming to the rescue of the brick and mortar shops. Communication is the key which the stores are now realizing. The first step in rectifying their fears is displaying prices on the website. Earlier they were wary of displaying with the logic that they were informing their competitors about prices. After a research survey (as the infographic) showed and also Furniture now reviews as also other reviews indicated price display is the only factor for a visitor to stay on the web page. Jakob Nielsen a top digital marketing guru sums up the attitude of the shopper. He or she does not read. They scan. That is why the price display should be prominent on the webpage.

This fear is being addressed as more and more furniture retailers are coming onto the ecommerce bandwagon.

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Monday, July 4, 2016

Creating A Relaxing Home With Suitable Furniture

Furnishing a home is helping to create a personal space where you can rest and relax, be yourself and enjoy yourself, therefore it must be furnished in a way that is pleasing to your eye.  At the same time if have a budget, you are limited in the pieces that you can afford and therefore must spend more time checking out places like FurnitureNow reviews and sales announcements.  There are lots of websites that will give you ideas on how to furnish your home with a budget and yet make it look spacious and stylish.

Planning Out Your Furniture Shopping

Before starting out with decorating your home, it is good to make a list so you are not distracted with other things at the furniture store.  There must be a clear list of things that you must buy and things that are on your wish list.  Browsing through web pages like Furniture Now reviews regularly will help you to locate sites where there are furniture sales going on.  Sales are a good place to obtain pieces that are on your wish list at affordable prices.


Tips On How To Avoid Overcrowding A Room

Every piece of furniture that is placed in your home must be something that is of good quality and attractive.  Moving around in your home amidst these pieces must give you a sense of joy.  You must have a clear idea of the size of your room so that you do not pick up pieces that are out of proportion to the room.  It is always wiser to decide on what you need for your home after living in it for a while.  This and checking out Furniture Now reviews will also give you an idea of what will best work for your home considering the space and amenities available.

Choosing Furniture Pieces Judiciously

Furnishing rooms one at a time is also a good idea since it will help you to furnish your home with quality pieces regardless of the budget. A lot of attention can be lavished on each room and the furnishing completed before moving to another one.  Cluttering a room with furniture and accessories can take away from the visual beauty of the room, so care must be taken to use pieces judiciously.  Lighting the room also can add to the effect you wish to create in your home.  Different types of lighting will accent different parts of your home per Furniture Now reviews.

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Importing furniture

The present market scenario in the world is furniture designs in large numbers are manufactured in China. Two factors are responsible for this shift. The manufacturing capability in China is staggering. They have developed CNC router manufacturing capacity that is astounding. Their machines are cheaper and the quality of machines is robust. Labor is low cost in China. Wood is imported into China and in no time finished goods are ready to be shipped.

Cost of imported furniture
The cost is made up of the following components.
·         Factory price of furniture in China.
·         Cost of container
·         Packaging
·         Importing fees
·         Warehousing
·         Tradeshows that include catalogues, advertising

Pricing consists of the following
·         Factory price
·         30 % markup for logistics
·         35% for wholesale mark ups
·         250% retail mark up

Example: Factory price is $100+ 30% logistics = $ 130 cost for wholesaler + wholesaler markup of 35% equals $175. The retail price will be two and half times this price that equals $450. A side table that costs $100 to make in China will eventually be sold in a Furniture Now store in America for around $450. (Pricing gathered from Furniture Now reviews pages) The question that arises is can the table be manufactured in America for less than $450 that includes profits to the manufacturer, wholesaler and retailer?
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