HIGH POINT — Pricing has had its share of ups and downs over the past couple of years. Container prices have wildly fluctuated. Cost of materials went up during the pandemic and have since largely dropped.
We asked retailers how their pricing and assortment strategies have changed over the past 12 months. Here’s what they said:
Berks Furniture & Mattress, Hackettstown, N.J.
It went from being full stocking to being custom order again. Time frames are back to where they were pre-COVID, and pricing is normalizing. Pricing is still up, but it’s down from what it used to be.
Miskelly Furniture, Pearl, Miss.
Vendors are really aggressive with their pricing with what they’re bringing out. They’re trying to get placements, so if you’re bringing in the new, what’s already on your floor isn’t as good of a value. Everybody’s struggling with it.
GG Goettler of Dublin Furniture, Dublin, Ontario
For us, I don’t feel it’s changed very much. In terms of case goods, we’re moving toward lower price points. Our upholstery is still really strong with higher end goods.
American Furniture Warehouse, Englewood, Colo.
With freight rates getting cheaper, I can get a container from Los Angeles for less than I can run my trucks.
Imports are coming back. We’re doing more importing. A lot of stuff is cheaper in Asia, so we’re picking up more imports — that’s for accessories, occasional; my daughter, Jackie does our doorbusters. That’s all coming out of Asia. We’re probably going to buy 25,000 to 30,000 containers this year.
HOM Furniture, Coon Rapids, Minn.
We’re able to change our assortment now! It’s not much different from a pricing standpoint. With container prices back down to what we’re used to, it’s allowed us to be more competitive again. I think everybody’s seen about a 10% change in pricing over time.
Lack’s Valley Stores, Pharr, Texas
We are constantly looking for new looks at prices accessible for our customers. Customers expect prices to be competitive when they shop, but they’ll pay for things if they’re the way they want them.
Gill Brothers Furniture, Muncie, Ind.
For us, we’re trying to find the best values we can.
In my opinion, the inflation and the supply chain crisis peaked and prices are starting to come down. Finding the values for the consumer is the most important thing for us.
Stoney Creek Furniture, Stoney Creek, Ontario
I don’t know that it’s changed drastically. For us, being Canadian, the American dollar has gotten stronger in the world, which puts a premium on some of our vendors from the states.
For some things, if the price points shift too much, we’ll go to a domestic supplier. We’re always looking for deals. Our customer expects a certain quality standard.
Dreamscape Design, Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands
There’s not a lot of supply right now in the Cayman Islands. Customers there understand the lead times. It’s getting better, and things are picking up again.
In the Cayman Islands, people know they’re going to have to wait for stuff, so they’re more patient.
Montgomery’s, Sioux Falls, S.D.
I feel like we’re getting inventory levels back to their normal level. We’re at market looking for deals. We’re pushing for value for our stock and inventory and passing those savings to customers.
We’re saying we’re open to buy, and we need to see looks with style and value.
Talsma Furniture, Hudsonville, Mich.
We’ve changed to more of an in-stock program than custom order. We were 70% custom, and we realized people want more in-stock if it looks good.
We’ve seen some pricing come down from our vendors. It used to be easier to sell higher level goods, but now salespeople have to work a little harder. We’re being more aggressive with our advertising, too.
Chris Cooley and Cailey Ehgoetz
Michael Alan Home Furnishings, Lake Havasu City, Ariz.
Cailey: We recently opened an outlet, so we’re able to offer style on a budget. That helped open some space at our main location.
Chris: Special orders are coming back to where they were pre-COVID. We’re able to do sketching and in-home service, which helps the average ticket.
Deets Furniture, Norfolk, Neb.
One of the biggest differences we’ve seen is more of a shift toward custom upholstery. People are seeing you can custom order items and get them in four to six weeks, and they don’t have to settle for what’s on the floor. With that, you get a higher average ticket and give the customer a higher value overall because they’re getting what they want.
Patrick Heavner, Heavner Furniture Market, Raleigh, N.C.
We’re getting away from containers and going more toward warehouse companies. Our price points really haven’t changed.
Schewels Home, Lynchburg, Va.
We’ve adjusted prices down. We’re now in a situation where we have some open to buy. We’re finally down on inventory, and we have opportunities to refresh the floor.
Timeless Living, Sterling, Va.
Now, given the way business has slowed, we’re more willing to make deals. We’re willing to work on a little less margin and more volume to make a deal.