Guest Author - Reshma Vyas
Home furnishings and accessories occupy a critical and popular niche in the retailing industry. The wide array of merchandise appeals to virtually every type of consumer interest or need. As the winter season moves towards spring, there is a renewed focus on house and home. Whether you are looking for just the right Tiffany style lamp or tools for that special DIY weekend project, you will find ample opportunities to save on products and accessories for the home.
A Glance At Popular Products For The Home
The home furnishings and accessories niche is extremely broad, encompassing everything from appliances, furniture, outdoor grills and cooking equipment to decorative home accents and garden tools. Merchandise categories that enjoy widespread public appeal include:
1. Area Rugs.
2. Bed And Bath: accessories, bedspreads, blankets, comforters, quilts, pillows and vanity cabinets.
3. Fireplace Accessories.
4. Floor Care: handheld cleaners, steam cleaners and upright vacuums.
5. Furniture: bedroom, coffee tables, dining room, home office, kitchen, living room, media room/entertainment centers.
6. Home Improvement: automotive tools, electricans tools, garage door openers and accessories, hardware, lawn and garden tools, power tools, shovels, tool kits, work bench and work gloves.
7. Generators, Heaters And Purifiers.
8. Kitchen: all types of kitchen gadgets and novelties, bakeware and supplies, blenders and mixers, casual drinkware, coffeemakers, cookware, flatware, fondue sets, griddles, grills, ice-cream makers, slow cookers, tea kettles, stemware, storage containers, toaster ovens, warming trays and serveware, wine and bar accessories.
9. Lighting: accessories, chandeliers, desk and table lamps, novelty lighting, Tiffany style lamps, torchiere lamps and wall lamps.
10. Outdoor: décor, furniture, grills, lighting and planters.
11. Storage And Organization: closet organization, golf organizer, laundry storage, shelving and tool cabinets.
12. Window Treatments.
Appliances and some product categories such as bed and bath, furniture and home improvement are extremely competitive in terms of pricing. Individuals who are interested in purchasing products which enjoy a high level of consumer demand should diligently track appropriate sales and promotions within these categories.
Taking A Selective Sales Strategy
Getting the best deals and maximizing savings on every purchase requires taking a selective approach to shopping and engaging in thorough product research.
Narrow your focus to only one or two categories. Do not include more than 2 or 3 products within each selected category. This can help curb unnecessary spending and manage your time more effectively.
Track the sale prices of products of interest among a wide cross-section of stores. Do not limit your search to only department stores. Many large discount chains also carry a variety of top-selling name brand products. It may be possible to purchase the identical item in a discount store at a significantly lower price.
Generally, store sales will vary tremendously, anywhere from 30% to 50% off. In some cases, a steeper rate of discount (e.g., 75%) may apply to select items. Further savings may be possible with the use of a coupon or special ongoing sales promotion. Some sales may be of a limited duration (e.g., 2 days, 4 days or weekend only). Look for any saving opportunities by purchasing items in bulk. Some stores may offer a sales promotion such as “buy 4 get 1 free” or “50% off on the second set.” This type of sales incentive is popular for bedding and housewares.
Consumers may be able to take advantage of additional sales incentives such as free shipping on select purchases. Some retailers may promote “exclusive online sales” on their websites.
• Before purchasing any item on sale, verify the store’s shipping terms, return and restocking policy.
• Evaluate Valentine’s Day promotions.
• Become a more informed consumer. Learn about the various manufacturers and brands. What are each manufacturer’s best-selling products? How do the various manufacturers rate in terms of craftsmanship, quality and client service? How do their warranties differ?
• Whenever possible, try to purchase the sale item in combination with a coupon, manufacturer’s rebate offer or other ongoing promotion.
• Strive to buy products which are versatile, easy to clean and maintain.
The retail niche of home furnishings and accessories has a tremendous built-in consumer appeal. Certain departments such as appliances, bed and bath, furniture, hardware and housewares always tend to garner a steady stream of foot traffic. The sheer volume of merchandise and the dizzying array of choices can make it difficult even for the most disciplined shoppers to stay on a budget. For consumers, “it will be not what to buy” but “what do I need to buy.”
For informational purposes only and not intended as advice.