How to Open a Furniture Store
The furniture market is characterized by retailers at all levels of the spectrum. Furniture is a high dollar price, sometimes once in a lifetime purchase with goods available from mass merchandisers like Target and Kmart, department stores, national furniture stores, boutique furniture stores, and manufacturer-owned stores like Ethan Allan, Lazy-Boy, and Thomasville. The decision to open a Furniture Store must be made with the recognition of an oversaturation of furniture goods in most markets and hence intense competition for customers. Under those conditions, a new furniture store would need to firmly ascertain that a need exists for the store, then acquire inventory, financing, and an operations staff.
Some Basic Steps to perform to Open a Furniture Store
Do a Survey
The furniture store owner will have to evaluate if a consumer need is currently not being met by available outlets in the market. There could be an unmet need for the type of furniture offered. Perhaps the local market is known for its high birth rates and a store catering to baby and children’s furniture might be successful. The business owner should field a survey of its potential consumer base to determine if their needs are genuine and strong enough to support the business launch and growth.
Most furniture stores have relationships with a number of different furniture manufacturers. A new furniture store would have to contact manufacturers and visit their showroom or online catalog to analyze offerings. Manufacturers may require that a certain minimum dollar value of merchandise be ordered. They’ll determine if they want a distributor relation with your furniture store. If they do, select initial stock.
Explore Financing Terms
Furniture buyers can be found in all economic levels. You will need to offer options for sources of financing for customers, potentially purchasing thousands of dollars of furniture. This will necessitate an agreement with a bank or financing company to offer to finance to your customers with agreed to terms.
Sales and Back Office
Depending on the size of the store, one or more people would be needed as floor sales staff. These people have knowledge of the store’s inventory and an ability to close sales with customers. Salespeople tend to work on a salary plus commission basis. Your store would need to have its own backend administrative staff to process bills and payments, deliveries, and do customer service.
Distribution of Merchandise
Because of the expense of the purchase and its product life, customers will travel miles to furniture stores to find the right décor look at the right price. Furniture stores oblige these long distance customers with delivery of goods often with or without additional charge. As a store owner, you will need to have a fleet of trucks for delivery either owned outright or leased.