CIN research takes deep dive into planned sofa, massage chair purchases

Survey shows sofas were the No. 1 product consumers plan to buy in the first half of 2023

This week marks the first deep dive for our latest Consumer Insights Now research into consumer buying plans for the first half.

Performed by industry research specialist Dana French, this segment takes a closer look at buying plans for sofas and massage chairs.

Not surprisingly, sofas were the No. 1 product that consumers plan to purchase in the first half of 2023. Some 40% of those surveyed identified it as the No. 1 item they plan to buy, with Gen Z and millennial consumers representing the largest group of consumers interested in buying this particular item. Some 39% of those surveyed live in a single-family house, 45% live in an apartment and 35% live in a condo or townhouse.

Realizing that it’s important to sit or lie upon a sofa to know how it feels, some 77% of those surveyed said they plan to buy this in a physical store compared to 23% who would do so online. Those who would rather buy in a store included millennials, Gen Xers, baby boomers and those living in a house, including homeowners. Those most likely to buy online included Gen Zers and older millennials and renters, including those living in an apartment.

But national furniture store chains were the preferred shopping destination across the board for 47% of those surveyed overall, including Gen Z (42%), younger millennials (53%), older millennials (48%) and Gen X and baby boomers (45%). The numbers fall dramatically for those looking to buy in a smaller local or regional furniture store at 15% for those surveyed overall, ranging from 9% for older millennials to 22% for baby boomers. Those planning to shop for sofas online at resources such as Amazon and Wayfair were even less, from 5% to 7% for those surveyed overall and ranging from 3% to 15% of those surveyed by various age groups.

This of course represents an opportunity for brick-and-mortar stores to capture market share in this given category, with the smaller local and regional stores having the most to gain in terms of foot traffic and sales growth.

Other key takeaways for the sofa segment of the research:

+ 23% of those surveyed plan to spend $1,000 to $1,999 for a sofa, while 17% plan to spend between $500 and $999.

+ 13% respectively planned to spend on the low side of $300 to $499 and between $2,000 and $2,999 at the mid-to-upper middle end of the spectrum.

 + An average of 59% planned to buy using a personal credit card, while 43% overall planned to buy with cash.

+  Some 11% and 16% respectively planned to use either a retailer credit card or some other type of buy now, pay later financing option.

+ 34% of those surveyed planned to buy  a standard-sized sofa and 27% planned to buy a sectional. 44% plan to buy a motion sofa (with 54% preferring power motion) and 19% plan to buy a coordinated grouping of a sofa, loveseat and chair.

+ 56% planned to buy fabric and 28% planned to buy leather while another 16% weren’t sure. The survey also looks at consumer preferences by fabric type and fabric preferences among age groups.

The second part of this installment looks at massage chairs, which, once again, are most appealing to younger shoppers from their early 20s to their early 40s. However, this indeed remains a niche market as only 4% of those surveyed plan to buy a massage chair in the first half. And those who do plan to buy are homeowners with incomes in excess of $100,000.

And as expected, those who plan to buy this category plan to do so at a physical store — some 78% of those surveyed including mostly Gen Xers and baby boomers — compared to 22% that plan to buy online, a group that mostly includes Gen Z and millennial consumers.

Other key findings relating to massage chairs:

+ Some 45% of those surveyed plan to spend less than $750

+ Another 15% plan to spend $1,000 to $1,999 and another 15% plan to spend $2,000 to $2,999.

+ 9% plan to spend more than $3,000 and 16% plan to spend $750 to $999.

+ 77% said they plan to use the massage chair for pain relief and 60% said health and wellness reasons in general.

+ 56% said they plan to use the chair for the convenience of getting a massage.

This is just a glimpse at the findings of this initial deep dive, which will be followed by similar deep dives across other categories such as primary bedroom, mattresses and rugs and other décor.

As always, we hope it provides some insights into what matters most to consumers and how your enterprise will be able to satisfy their wants and needs in these segments. Doing so hopefully will create a good shopping experience for them that makes them look forward to making their next purchase at your business.

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 and at 336-508-4616.

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