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Editor's Corner: Nothing New Under The Sun

Furniture World Magazine

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Editor's Corner

 

In recent years the furniture industry has seen many ideas and styles recycled. We’ve witnessed a resurgence of Mid-century modern and more recently, a trend toward a floral, country-influenced aesthetic now known as cottagecore. Design maximalism and minimalism are trending at the same time. And, traditional-influenced furniture styles are coming back in a strong way. People have gone back to adopting their grandparents’ hand-me-down furniture as home decorating gems instead of putting them on the curb. What’s old has been made new again—often with a new twist.

Much like recovering grandma’s vintage sofa in a cool, new fabric, our industry continues to expand the time-tested retail ideal of providing good, old-fashioned customer service. Now it’s been re-branded and updated under the heading of “customer experience management.” Spurred on by the likes of Amazon, new ideas about store design and technological advances allow furniture stores to compete by looking at new ways to keep customers engaged and happy, removing obstacles to better sales and growth.

Furniture World readers who are interested in further improving how customers experience their stores will find the March/April 2022 issue to be an excellent resource.

Jennifer Magee’s article, “Design For Customer Service,” looks at different ways retailers can use store design and technology to help customers feel comfortable and cared for as soon as they enter in-store environments. Innovative store design is one of the best ways to reduce the anxiety and frustration encountered in many shopping experiences.

David McMahon explains how retail automation for pre-sales and open sales opportunities can make purchasing home furnishings easier for shoppers and trigger a variety of follow-up strategies to make sure that questions and inquiries don’t fall through the cracks. Automation can also enhance customer access to information from first contact to the post-sale service experience.

For this issue, we interviewed Brian Morgan, a founding partner of Texas-based retailer Couch Potatoes, who explained why a cold beer goes a long way toward setting the stage for a good customer experience. The Couch Potatoes store is a case study in how cultivating a store-wide attitude of caring for people can make a big difference in people’s lives and their experience of a store’s brand.

Finally, sales educator Scott Morris’ article, “Closing Moxie” provides perspective on the skill of closing. Some sales techniques have come to be viewed as manipulative. But, when used correctly, these tools enhance the customer experience by breaking down the anxiety and indecision customers bring with them into stores and help customers make the best possible buying decision.


Russell Bienenstock is Editor-in-Chief of Furniture World Magazine, founded 1870. Comments can be directed to him at editor@furninfo.com.