Consumers to Buy More Home Furnishings in 2011

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As the economy continues to improve, U.S. consumers are planning to buy more home furnishings this year, according to a recent report from Kantar Retail. According to the firm's ShopperScape report, 35% of shoppers surveyed are either very or somewhat likely to buy home furnishings in 2011, up from 30% in the same survey conducted in October 2009. The biggest jump in buying plans emerged from generation‑Y consumers, whose likelihood of buying home furnishings jumped from 12% in 2010 to 22% in 2011. Most of these purchases will go toward furnishings for either the bedroom or the living room, the ShopperScape report said.

Shoppers are still cautious, with most focused on home spruce-ups and replacement buying,” the report said. “The web is becoming an increasingly important tool to narrow the store-choice set. But stores remain the most important venue for shoppers looking for the latest trends in home decorating, which means retailers should continue to innovate ways to build and link demand across channels.”

COLOR TRENDS

The specialty retailer color that is expected to be hot for 2011 is: brown, with a little blue, orange, green and neutral colors thrown in.  Specifically, retailers responding to Furniture Today's Casual Living’s 2011 Fabric Survey say terra cotta will be the hottest color for cushions in 2011; beige will be the best-selling sling and strap color; and rust-colored cushions will sell the best during the coming year.

REGIONS WITH BIGGEST GROWTH

According to Furniture Today's 2011 Product Potential Reports, four states are projected to grow furniture and bedding sales at rates 1.5 times faster than the national growth average of 9.9% between 2010 and 2015. They include the Western states of Utah, with slated growth of 16.6%, Wyoming at 15.2% and Colorado at 15.1%; and the Southern state of Texas, with predicted furniture and bedding sales growth of 15.7%.

Hinesville-Fort Stewart, Ga., is expected to be the fastest growing major metropolitan market over the next five-year period. Home to the largest Army installation east of the Mississippi, this metro sold $17.2 million worth of furniture and bedding during 2010 and is expected to grow its sales by 30.1%, reaching $22.4 billion by 2015.

The major metro of Raleigh-Cary, N.C. is poised to increase its furniture and bedding sales by 22.7% to $389.1 million in 2015, the second fastest growth rate of the country's 363 large or major metro areas. Census defines a major metro area as having at least one urbanized area of 50,000 or more people.

[Source:  ShopperScape.  Kantar Retail.  4 Jan. 2011.  Web.  13 Jan. 2011; Casual Living 2011 Fabric Survey.  Casual Living.  Jan. 2011.  Web.  13 Jan. 2011; French, Dana.  "Retail Sales Forecast"  Furniture Today.  6 Jan. 2011.  Web.  13 Jan. 2011.]