If there was ever any doubt regarding the severity of Covid-19 on independent home furnishings reps, just-released survey from market research leader Leflein Associates, confirms the toll the virus is having on their businesses.
According to the just-released survey, taken by Leflein among 422 members of the International Home Furnishings Representatives Association (IHFRA), virtually all of them—99.8%–admitted losing income, with the average loss coming in at a staggering 73%.
And while more than half—54%–said that their customers have called to cancel orders, a larger number—60%–have reached out to place orders.  And while some of the orders being placed are likely to be re-orders, the fact remains that orders are once again being placed.
Not surprisingly, as consumers continue to abide by stay-in-place recommendations, online sales, already brisk, have continued to spike.  In fact, one-quarter of the IHFRA reps participating in the survey acknowledge that online sales of furniture and related home accessories have kept them afloat as they struggle to navigate the unchartered waters caused by Covid-19.).
When asked to identify online sales of specific product categories keeping the reps afloat, standout categories were accessories (35%), bedding (31%), home office (27%), outdoor furniture (25%), case goods (23%) and upholstery (22%).