Home furnishing sales are expected to increase in the second quarter of this year, with in-store sales rising nearly eight percent to $23.222 billion and online sales increasing 28.4%, according to an IBM analytics-based forecast.
Experts cite a number of factors, including "Year of the Dragon" weddings and the trend of accessorizing, borrowing from the apparel segment and applied to living spaces, as well as an increase in rental market activity.
"Consumers are opting to give their home a new-look by remodeling and accessorizing. New towels, bedding or even a picture can really spruce up a room," said Jill Puleri, global retail leader for IBM Global Business Services. "Retailers can benefit from this behavioral shift by considering product mix, promotion and presentation and by marketing home accessories aggressively. For example, for those customer who recently remodeled their kitchen - now might be the right time to target them with new dishes, hand towels, rugs, etc. - all of which complete the look."
The IBM forecast is produced using statistical and analytical software to evaluate both the long-term sales trend and seasonal peaks. IBM consultants use these predictive techniques to help clients improve performance by addressing complex issues of supply and demand. These techniques also aid clients in planning product mix and new store locations.