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The Merchandise



“Furniture Retailing 101: The Merchandise” explores the commodity retail furniture dealers sell. It begins by providing an insight into the actual products that furniture retailers market. It emphasizes that consumers can spend their money on any commodity they wish and that furniture may be well down on the list of priorities. It explains that in any given company a smaller percentage of merchandise is responsible for a larger percentage of sales. The chapter then touches upon the way in which merchandisers may develop, organize, and keep fresh an assortment of merchandise and how furniture retailers separate and segment their merchandise by categories. It explains one method of structuring a line-up of merchandise with Promotional, Basic, Step-up, and Umbrella merchandise. It addresses the furniture merchandising elements of Fashion, Selection, and Value.


This volume then turns it attention to the Upholstered Furniture / Living Room category with all of its variable key elements. These include Fabrics, Frame Styles, Size, Scale, Comfort, Cushioning, Seat / Base / Back Construction, and Engineering. It acquaints the reader with upholstered category of merchandise along with its sub categories, merchandise classifications, its construction, fabrics and leather, style classifications, quality and value components. Finally, it provides a tutorial on testing upholstered furniture for comfort.

“Furniture Retailing 101: The Merchandise” then turns its attention to the case goods and occasional categories. Topics discussed include the advantages and disadvantages of wood, materials, species, graining, finishes, construction and joinery, and styling and periods. Specific construction details, most common pieces of furniture, key elements of the merchandise and common merchandising and marketing fundamentals are then examined relative to each sub-category. A description of the quality components of wood furniture and what one can look for in determining the quality level of a piece of wood furniture is presented. The volume includes color photographic examples of many of the ideas presented.

Finally, the volume looks at the Bedding category of furniture and reasons for the segment’s profitability. Bedding’s history, a characterization of how it exists today, its varied constructions, forms, ticking materials, and key merchandising and marketing elements and approaches are addressed. Bedding Manufacturers’ distribution approaches are also examined along with some interesting idiosyncrasies of the bedding business and the identification of the products a typical bedding department might offer