A look back at what consumers actually purchased in 2nd half of 2022

Survey kicks off 2nd round of exclusive research from Consumer Insights Now

HIGH POINT — With the launch of Consumer Insights Now in 2022, our readers had access to exclusive research that predicted consumer buying trends for the second half of the year.

The data looked at anticipated buying trends by region of the country, offering a glimpse at what categories people planned to buy, where they planned to shop and how much they planned to spend.

The reports also looked at other key metrics including where they began searching for products, whether they planned to buy in-store or online and how they planned to pay for those purchases.

For those curious about how those buying plans turned out, we are delivered the second part of that research starting this past Monday, with a look back on purchases consumers made — and held off on in the second half. The report follows the buying trends by category, age group, region, preferred retailer, the amount spent by category and method of payment.

As the name implies, it offers a look back at areas where people spent and held off their spending, which leads to further installments in this latest research done by industry research expert Dana French. In the past several months, French has not only delved into the buying trends of the recent past, but has also looked ahead to what people are looking to buy in the first half of 2023.

This big-picture overview, which mirrors many of the questions asked in the 2022 surveys, will immediately follow the look back and will in turn be followed by more detailed reports to be published each week thereafter. They will include information about buying trends for specific categories that include sofas and massage chairs, primary bedroom furniture, mattresses for the primary bedroom, and finally area rugs and other home design trends.

We’re starting this series of installments with a look back that sheds light on consumer buying trends leading up to early 2023.

Among the key findings was that consumers made 60% of their planned furniture purchases in the second half, with 24% of the planned purchases postponed and 17% canceled outright. About 84% of shoppers purchased area rugs, followed by 82% that purchased decorative accessories, while another 81% purchased office furniture.

Bedroom furniture did exceptionally well, with 71% buying furniture for the master or guest bedrooms. This was followed by lamps at 69%, living room furniture at 64% and sofas at 62%. Wall décor, kitchen furniture and mattresses for the youth bedroom ranked at 59%, 57% and 56% respectively; followed by mattresses for the adult and primary bedrooms, 54% and 53%, respectively; and children’s bedroom furniture and outdoor furniture, each at 50%.

Rankings for other categories were as follows: other primary bedroom furniture (46%), entry and mudroom furniture (38%) and dining room and home entertainment furniture (each at 36%).

Perhaps surprisingly, some 65% of the Gen Z consumers ages 18-25 followed through on their plans to purchase furniture in the second half, the largest percent by any age group. This was followed by baby boomers ages 58-75 (64%), younger millennials ages 26-33 (63%), Gen X ages 42-57 (63%) and older millennials ages 35-41 (56%). The research also showed that Gen Z and millennials were the primary purchasers of sofas, wall décor and decorative accessories while millennials also purchased mattresses for the primary bedroom at the highest rate.

The results also showed some positive news for brick-and-mortar retailers.

A vast majority of consumers made their purchases at a brick-and-mortar store in their area with an average of 63% of the purchases made in a physical store compared to 37% online. Some 79% of those surveyed purchased a sofa at a retail store, compared to 21% online. Lighting fixtures and decorative accessories purchased at brick-and-mortar stores also ranked high at 72%, followed by mattresses for the primary bedroom and outdoor furniture, 68%; other living room furniture and wall décor, 66%; and home entertainment and lamps 65% and 64% respectively.

Other segments bought in a physical store location ranged from children’s bedroom furniture and area rugs at 54% to primary bedroom furniture and mattresses for the guest bedroom at 60% and kitchen furniture, 62%. The survey breaks this down even further showing what types of stores and what types of online resources where customers shopped for certain categories ranging from sofas and living room furniture to bedroom, dining and office furniture.

Further breakdowns are also available on how much consumers spent by product type and category and how they paid, with financing covering the full cost of the product nine out of 10 times. Nearly half bought more than they originally planned thanks to buy now, pay later options, with two-thirds of Gen Z and younger millennials also falling in this category.

It goes even deeper by category, offering details on where they purchased, how much they spent and how they financed items ranging from sofas and other living room furniture to primary bedroom, dining room and home office to name a few core categories.

We found the numbers engaging on many levels and hope others in the industry do as well as they provide insights that retailers and manufacturers alike can use to tailor their marketing to consumers based on how and what they’re buying. We hope you use this information to help your business succeed now and in the future as you navigate whatever uncertainty and opportunity may lie ahead.

Thomas Russell

Home News Now Editor-in-Chief Thomas Russell has covered the furniture industry for 25 years at various daily and weekly consumer and trade publications. He can be reached at tom@homenewsnow.com and at 336-508-4616.

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