One thing that is absolutely killing the furniture industry is online competition. Companies like Wayfair and Casper are making huge revenues and getting lots of new customers but at the cost of the honest people who own the brick-n-mortar furniture stores. Both of these companies are backed by huge investors that believed they could make money. After looking at the losses that Wayfair took last year, I don’t think the investors are expecting their money back any time soon.
The way that these online furniture stores ruined the mom and pop shop is by eating away all the profits so they can hoard the customers. They offer a money back guarantee if you don’t like the furniture. So what happens when you tell Americans that they get a money back guarantee? You guessed it… Tons of people want their money back! But what happens with the furniture? Is Wayfair or Casper gonna pay the shipping costs to get that piece of furniture back to a DC when they can’t even re sell it because the mattress has already been laid on? No they’re not. They’re going to tell the customers that they can get a 20% discount. But the customers usually are not willing to give up so easily. Then they basically begin an auction to see how much money is this customer willing to pay. This drives the average profit of each transaction down, customers expect the same prices, and then the small guy has to lose again.
What are you gonna do about online furniture retailers putting loving people out of business because they want more market share? Maybe you’ll build your own online store, or maybe you don’t care at all. The point is, that furniture is just furniture, but if we don’t take care of our furniture store owners, then the quality is just going to get worse.