For Edward Massood, president of Home Furnishings of New Jersey, operator of four Thomasville stores, the outlook is positive, but cautious. “We’re encouraged, but our direct benefit comes from new home sales,” he said. “We’re seeing an uptick in the confidence level, but it hasn’t yet resonated across all our floors.”
A little farther down south in Richmond, Virginia, Sarah Paxton, vice president of sales and finance for LaDifference, is seeing a real difference. “It is definitely improving. We are experiencing more consumers who tell us they are moving or building, and that is a very good sign.”
Out in the Pacific Northwest, Bob Schoenfeld, president of Schoenfeld Interiors of Washington state, runs two stores, one in Seattle and another in Bellevue. The latter city, only five minutes from Microsoft headquarters, has the highest property values in the state. “We’re seeing pretty robust consumer confidence,” said Schoenfeld. “It’s showing up in traffic and in sales.” Schoenfeld mentions that home building in the area is picking up as well.