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May 26, 2019, 05:33:25 PM
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: General Discussion  ( 83 )
gene
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« : May 22, 2019, 07:51:44 PM »

I had a nice talk with an Interior Designer who's retiring after being in the business 40 years. He said young people with money no longer tend to buy high end furniture for two reasons. They tend to move every 4 or 5 years for their jobs and furniture that looks great in a cape cod in New England doesn't look so good in Texas or California. Second they don't entertain in their homes as much as the older generation did.

We talked about "brown" furniture, and how younger people don't like the brown stained antiques and traditional style of furniture. He said there's a furniture company in NC that has survived by making traditional furniture and then painting to order the wood a pastel color, cream or light gray for example. Younger people tend to like this look.

Custom work of all kinds if shrinking, I think. There will always be people who want and are willing to pay for custom woodworking, upholstery, Interior designing, airplanes, swimming pools, cars, etc., but I don't see any growth in any custom type work areas.

I've thought for a long time now that I've been staying busy because other upholsterers are either dying or retiring and there are no new people coming into the business.

And of course everyone wants custom work as long as it comes with Walmart prices.There's a reason why Walmart prices are "Walmart" prices.

QUALITY DOES NOT COST, IT PAYS!
MinUph
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Mainly furniture. Tarpon Springs Fl.


« #1 : May 22, 2019, 08:05:18 PM »

  I have to look at the other side. As I normally do. I know trades people, designers, upholsterers, etc, that have been around a long time and when ready to retire come up with all sorts of reasons why the business' are dying. I see it from another standpoint. I see many new people coming into the business. While the have different ideas, and are very trendy they are there and willing to make a go of it. All business types change. They go through cycles and in the end are really still there. Different maybe be there non the less.
 I don't want to start a political discussion here honestly but this thing with tariffs on good from China. Could very well be a turning point for the Walmart way of thinking. Walmart is saying they will raise prices of these products. If they didn't only offer these products maybe they or should I say we wouldn't be having these problems. Maybe it will be a good push for the people to buy our products instead.
  Anyway.. The Walmart world will go someday and be replaced buy something else just like Montgomery Ward, Sears, etc. etc. And hopefully the American people will see the value in keeping quality products and re doing them. Furniture being the one we care about.

Paul
Minichillo's Upholstery
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kodydog
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North Central Florida


« #2 : May 23, 2019, 08:13:11 AM »

Rose and I have moved many times and have been fortunate to live in some really neat areas. Hickory at the foothills of the NC mountains, Charleston SC, and now Gainesville with the University of Florida. When we were younger moving to a new area was exciting. Each time was a new adventure. Will we move again? Never say never but the thought of moving at my age is daunting.

Rose worked with a young man at the Dept of Revenue. He was newly married, a graduate of UF and making good money. Rose told him he should move out of his rented apartment and buy a house, an investment. He told her he like to be able to pickup and move if an opportunity comes along.

The young generation is mobile. And although we have several customers from this generation for the most part our customers have always been  from the 40 and over crowd. These people have collected furniture all there lives, some of it inherited and some of it mementos of places they have been. The neat thing about living in Florida and especially a collage town is Gainesville is a destination for both young and old. People aren't moving away, people are moving to Gainesville. It always amazes me these subdivisions popping up with huge homes. Where are these people coming from and what do they do for a living? Gainesville has a lot to offer for an active lifestyle. These are my targeted customers.
« : May 23, 2019, 08:14:51 AM kodydog »

There cannot be a crisis next week. My schedule is already full.
http://northfloridachair.com/index.html
SteveA
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« #3 : May 23, 2019, 10:37:25 AM »

Many baby boomers were told when you get married and buy your furniture - buy the best grade you can and it will last forever.  Marriages no longer last for ever and young folks don't have the extra money to splurge on furniture.  The cost of living, housing, vehicles etc are through the roof - there's very few that have the bucks to buy good and maintain it over the years.  My business survives on repairs.  They come in when it needs repair more so than coming in to restore the whole piece.  I'm OK with that - it pays the bills and the turnover is quick.  Nothing sits here for more than a couple of days.
SA
baileyuph
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« #4 : May 24, 2019, 09:41:10 PM »

Marketing is an interesting dimension to almost any product or service.

Why do autos sell as strongly as they do?  Doesn't financing strategies have a lot to do with it?  Then,
what happens to that strategy which is another business?  It is a business that has its ups and down,
and doesn't always make money or the big bucks.  I read business reports and there is a lot of information there that shows nothing stays the same in business.  Continuous change.

Furniture is no different, the last few years there have been so many changes due to market
changes.  Who buys based on brands?

Who buys based on price?

Then that continually evolves when the economic forces change.

We are business people, yes small but not exempt from all the changing forces and the ones
who surive the best will be the strongest.  Changes will continue and there will always be
new challenges and more than likely the results won't be the same for all.

The outcome will depend on many issues, we or individuals will have to cut our own business path.

There are some smart people on this forum, so stay tuned they say.

Good luck,

Doyle
SteveA
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« #5 : May 25, 2019, 07:45:54 AM »

I believe most of new purchases are younger folks starting life out.  Their purchases are connected mostly to the current style followed by price then parents advice -
When I was starting out i worked for a guy who did his own financing for folks who couldn't pay the entire amount up front.  His lending business was better than his furniture sales.
Lay away was a big factor determining where a purchase was made. 
SA
sofadoc
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All types of upholstery.....except cars and boats.


« #6 : May 25, 2019, 07:58:28 AM »

For 20 years, I've been hearing about all the manufacturing that went to China coming back here again. I hear about it, but never see anything significant really happening. A few factories will occasionally pop up, but they usually fail (again). 

The tariffs imposed on Chinese imports will only force China to start producing even cheaper, crappier goods than they are now.

American consumers want a new couch for $500. American factory workers don't want to work for a wage that would be conducive to producing a $500 couch. So a void exists. Chinese factories are more than happy to fill that void.

The younger generation does NOT want their furniture to "last a lifetime". They really really don't. Say what you will about our economy today compared to what it was 50 years ago. But for whatever reason, Americans today have WAY more disposable income than they did in the 60's. And they LOVE to dispose of it.

The old "trade only" suppliers continue to dry up, and get replaced by online suppliers that will sell to anyone.

Some see the glass half empty. Some see it half full. Either way, all you have is half a glass.


"Perfection is the greatest enemy of profitability" - Mark Cuban
65Buick
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« #7 : May 25, 2019, 02:48:43 PM »

I don't really know what young people want. I'm inclined to say that yes, they do want cheap throw-away furniture.

However, in my area, older folks absolutely value well-made furniture. They have the cash to spend, and they'll refurbish good vintage furniture, or spend a considerable amount of cash to get at least decently made new furniture. There's a couple stores here that display some furniture made in the Carolinas (forget which one) that make their frames in house, and then upholster them in-house. That's what we did, and we're really happy with the quality.
MinUph
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Mainly furniture. Tarpon Springs Fl.


« #8 : May 25, 2019, 07:46:35 PM »

Yes 65 it depends on where you are. Money is the deciding factor on what people want. If They can afford it they like it. I like living in an area where the glass is half full. That's the half I like.

Paul
Minichillo's Upholstery
Website
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