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Thread: Another fine furniture store closing

  1. #1
    Join Date
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    Default Another fine furniture store closing

    I guess it's a sign of the times. More people want inexpensive furniture and don't care how long it will last. a very high end furniture store in Orange County, Ca recently announced they are closing. It's a sad time for people who really prefer better quality goods. Duane, I know you closed due to retiring, but it seems like more and more higher end stores are leaving. I don't think there is more than 1 other store down there that carries H&M so that leaves people with less and less places to shop.
    Last edited by Judyg951; 2 Weeks Ago at 09:28 AM.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Another fine furniture store closing

    It's a problem and a severe one. In a way, I'm glad I got out in 2024. Post Covid, the shoppers have changed. Not so much from the established customers who are used to buying quality furniture, but from those just coming into the better-furniture market. They are very suspicious and feel everything costs too much. They tend to be less trusting and that requires more energy to overcome objections / concerns.

    This is a hard business - I would NEVER do it again. It is physically demanding, requires large amounts of floor space, a warehouse, trucks and suppliers who all want to be paid in 15 to 30 days. Margins are low compared to other retail industries. I offered this to both my adult children and they both declined, guess they saw the long hours and physical exhaustion that comes with it.

    When you sell high quality goods, they don't wear out very fast - so your best customers fill their home and disappear. Compare that to a Candle Company, or a Dairy business. You consume those products rapidly, then come back for more. But how many sofas do you need in 20 years? Two maybe? I remember meeting the owner of Yankee Candle Company many years ago and his fabulous car collection. He said "I love my customers, they set everything I sell them on fire then have to buy more!".

    I think the only way for the better furniture makers to survive going forward is direct sales, either sell directly off their website or have Company-owned stores where they can control the amount of product, displays and margins. They are very resistant to going that direction, but I see that as the future. To be sure, you don't hardly ever hear of anyone opening a new furniture store, unless its selling cheap imports.
    Last edited by drcollie; 2 Weeks Ago at 09:11 PM.
    Duane Collie
    Straight answers from thirty-six years in the business.
    My Private Messages are Disabled - Please ask questions here in the forum.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Another fine furniture store closing

    [QUOTE=drcollie;48524]It's a problem and a severe one. In a way, I'm glad I got out in 2024. Post Covid, the shoppers have changed. Not so much from the established customers who are used to buying quality furniture, but from those just coming into the better-furniture market. They are very suspicious and feel everything costs too much. They tend to be less trusting and that requires more energy to overcome objections / concerns.



    When you sell high quality goods, they don't wear out very fast - so your best customers fill their home and disappear. Compare that to a Candle Company, or a Dairy business. You consume those products rapidly, then come back for more. But how many sofas do you need in 20 years? Two maybe? I remember meeting the owner of Yankee Candle Company many years ago and his fabulous car collection. He said "I love my customers, they set everything I sell them on fire then have to buy more!".

    You are right on that timing. I currently have 2 sofas in my living room. They are well over 20 years and while it would be nice to replace them, I don't see the need at this time as the room is hardly used, plus I still need to finish paying for my new H&M furniture and I need to budget for a chair that was ordered right before you closed the store.

    This was a huge store with a lot of inventory and the costs must be high.. I have no idea how long this is been since they decided to close, but do plan on looking to see if I can find some lamps and end tables, although I really don't expect to find much at this point.
    It was on my list to shop at for replacement living room furniture.

    My home is filed with H&M, Century, Thomasville and other better makers furniture. I'm one who loves better makes, but I can see what's going on by just looking at my friends sons homes and what my children have acquired. My friend son's home is filed with Restoration Hardware (he's a very affluent physician) my kids have furniture make by Pottery Barn and others like them. When I told my oldest who made the beautiful leather furniture that he total admired and I told him Hancock & Moore his comment was never heard of them. Honestly I had never heard of them until I was doing research for leather furniture and found this forum.

    I think there will always be a market for better furniture, but it may be a lot smaller these days.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Another fine furniture store closing

    Premium brands require a passion to sell, and a good story. It has to be engaging to a customer and the salesperson needs to be a bedrock of knowledge, which is often sadly lacking.

    Case in point. Today I went with my pal Rafael to the Aston Martin Dealer as I had an invite to come drive the new DBX 707. This is a $293,000 SUV. At that level, the salesperson must be top tier, few people will buy this vehicle, how do you sell it? Well, our guy was terrible. All he kept doing was offering us a bottle of water. Finally, after the fifth time I took one just to shut him up about the water, and I just set it down around the corner as I didn’t want it. I asked him the weight of the DBX, and he said 3,500 lb. Ahhhhhh….no. My 911 weighs 3,500 lb, this SUV is 5,000 give or take. He said “look at those 22” wheels!” We did, and they are 23”. Another miss. Finally he went on and on about 2.9% financing, which neither of us had the slightest interest in because we both pay cash for our vehicles. He failed at sales because he was unprepared, didn’t listen to his potential client and failed to create any excitement for a luxury purchase,

    Same with furniture, or say a Hermes Birkin handbag. I mean, who pays $15,000 for a handbag without a good story behind it? The seller has to create the desire for the goods. And you can’t do it without being passionate about the product.

    Look at this store and how they sell their Hancock and Moore. This is 180 degrees opposite of how I present it.

    https://youtu.be/usKM5-XOix8?si=xQZj9Iq15xwOPCe6

    Many stores mix high end and low end furniture together, and so you see $999 and $5,999 sofas side by side both in leather. And too often the customer is not engaged to explain why the price is different. Those stores will never be successful in selling better furniture.
    Duane Collie
    Straight answers from thirty-six years in the business.
    My Private Messages are Disabled - Please ask questions here in the forum.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Another fine furniture store closing

    Duane, Your information is what made me look at H&M over 17 years ago and buy it for my home. I had not heard of it at the time, but your information intrigued me so I talked my husband into looking at a semi local store. We were both sold when we saw the pieces and the quality of the build. When we wanted to replace our family room furniture we again came to you. I probably drove you nuts with all of my questions, but managed to get you to hang in with me and we again ordered our beautiful furniture from your store even though I'm in Ca. (a long way away). After it arrived we decided to get another piece and managed to order it just in time before you stopped taking new orders.

    We stopped by the OC store (the one that's closing) yesterday and found nothing!! We were looking for some end tables, but they nothing that appealed to us. It was either junky looking lower end tables that didn't fit for us or very fancy beautiful tables that were not a style that worked for us. apparently the owner/designer is sizing down to a smaller location. They have over 42,000 sq feet and that's a lot to maintain. We were the only ones looking in this huge store.and they had a lot of goods to sell. If I had the available cash I did see some sofas that I might have considered for my living room, but it's just not the time for that so we walked out without anything.

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