Sherry Sheely, president of Sheely’s Furniture and Appliance, the largest retailer of its type in Ohio and Pennsylvania, planned her Fall Market appointments to make selections attractive to key 18- to 34-year old customers. “We’re well aware of the buying habits of this group. We do generational sales training and cater to their interest in eclectic styles, aversion to ‘matchy match’, and the appeal of transitional and more ornate pieces.” Sheely added that she makes different buying decisions with Millennial shoppers in mind. “We recently featured a striking teal blue sofa in our store, and sure enough, the first one was purchased by a 20-something. If a Millennial shopper sees something they like, they will buy it immediately, and as with any generation, cost is not a concern for some.”
The panel at the Fall Market E-retailing seminar, hosted by Jenny Heinzen York, Editor-in-Chief of Home Accents Today, included Anna Brockway, Co-founder and President of Chairish, Shane Reilly, Co-founder of Guildery and Josh Stellin, Co-founder of Joybird Furniture. They provided an eye-opening overview of Millennial’s online home furnishings shopping behavior. In addition to e-retail, Millennials comprise the highest percentage of buying households at traditional, manufacturer-branded, lifestyle furniture stores, and discount department stores, with 37% of them planning to spend a total of $27 billion on furniture and mattresses in the next year.
According to the panel members, whether the final purchase is made online or from a traditional store, this group starts their research and gets their inspiration online from resources like Houzz and Pinterest. They aren’t afraid to spend and are confident in their decisions because they have already read online reviews, texted photos and received positive feedback from their peers.