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New IHFRA/Leflein Study Reveals Millennial Furniture Buying Insights

As part of an ongoing mission to bring market intelligence and insights to the home furnishings sector,  IHFRA recently asked Leflein Associates, Inc., a premier market research firm specializing in retail intelligence and millennial audience engagement to find out what matters most to this demographic group as they shop for furniture.
At some 83.1 million strong, Millennials spend about $600 billion each year, making them a force to be reckoned with.   And with many Millennials approaching their peak home-buying years, this group is influencing furniture trends as well.
With that in mind, Leflein Associates conducted a national online survey that gathered input from  330 adults between the ages of 18-34 who offered candid input about their furniture shopping plans and intentions.
When respondents were asked to select the top three attributes most important to them when purchasing furniture, just over half the group (51%), cited quality as the key determinant.  That was closely followed by comfort, the answer given by 50%. Price, while important, was listed as the top driver only by 44%, followed by style, the answer given by 37% of the respondents.

Worth noting, the survey determined that the females in the survey were likely to cite the importance of comfort (54% vs 45%) than the men. Similarly, more women (43% vs 31% men) felt style was important.
The study also asked the respondents to share the reasons that would prompt them to make an in-store visit to purchase furniture.
While the majority of Millennials (54%) said they would go to a furniture store to “see and feel the furniture in person,” far more women (51% vs 35%) said they would visit the store for design assistance.  More men, meanwhile, (46% vs 33%) said they would go into the store because the furniture is fully assembled.
The Leflein study also identified specific types of furniture that the group said they would have to see or try out in person before making a purchase.
The top three items proved to be beds/mattresses, the answer given by 51%; sofas/sectionals/loveseats, the response from 39% and chairs and recliners, the answer given by 34% of the 330 Millennials responding.
When it comes to sofas/sectionals/loveseats, more women (47% vs 32% men) wanted to see these products in person.
Fewer than 20% of the Millennials polled reported a need to see the following items before making a purchase: kitchen islands (18%), bookcases (18%), bar stools (17%), accent tables (17%), end  & side tables (17%), cribs, headboard, sideboard and buffets (16%) followed by wall art and nightstands at 15% each.

With sales patterns top of mind, the study asked the group to share when they either last visited  a brick and mortar furniture store, looked at furniture online or searched social media for previously owned furniture.
The good news for home furnishing  retailers is that nearly three-quarters of the group (72%), said they have searched or shopped either in-store or online for furniture within the past month.
Reflecting the steady growth of online furniture sales, the survey found that only 7% of the Millennials shopped exclusively for furniture in store.

“This information, culled by Leflein Associates, Inc., especially in light of the current uncertainty the market is facing, is particularly valuable to any supplier, retailer or independent rep looking to garner a share of the ever-important Millennial market,” said IHFRA Executive Director Ray Allegrezza.
For additional information about the survey or about Leflein Associates, Inc., click here

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