Consumer Insights Now research reveals buying trends for 1st half

Younger consumers will account for 7 of 10 furniture purchases from January through June

HIGH POINT — Home News Now and its sister publications Bedding News Now, Casual News Now and Design News Now welcome readers to the latest edition of Consumer Insights Now, a guide to consumer buying trends in the first half. Our first installment publishes Monday, March 11, with five successive reports to follow.

As with previous CIN reports, the data was compiled by industry research expert Dana French, who has once again provided a meticulously crafted report that presents insights on consumer buying patterns by category and age group. In addition, she delves into whether consumers plan to buy their furniture in store versus online, how much they plan to spend and how they plan to pay for their purchases. The data also sheds light on what specific categories they plan to buy each month and to what degree they wish to work with a sales associate or an interior designer.

Fielded Jan. 15-16, the survey, sponsored by Synchrony, was among 1,818 U.S. consumers, with all respondents planning to buy one or more home furnishings products between January and June 2024. The sample includes a mix of males and females ages 18-74 and also includes a mix of generations, ethnicities, household incomes and homeowners/renters.

One of the key takeaways from the survey is that younger consumers, from Gen Z (ages 18-27) and millennials (ages 28-43), will comprise seven out of 10 furniture purchases in the first half of this year.

It’s a stat that’s been pretty consistent since we began publishing these surveys every six months since 2022, and thus should come as no surprise to those familiar not only with our research but who are also familiar with this market dynamic in general, of course having customers who sell directly to this group of consumers.

Within this age group ranging from 18 to 43, there are some other interesting trends to note as well.

+ Of those consumers who wish to work with a designer, the numbers skew toward those under age 44.

+ Sofas and other décor such as area rugs, decorative accessories, occasional tables, wall art and lamps were among the top five categories younger consumers planned to buy in the first half. Sofas and sectionals were once again the top categories consumers overall planned to buy during the period.

+ Sustainability and the eco-friendly nature of products play a large part in 10% of shoppers’ lifestyles, a group that includes older millennials ages 36 to 43.

+ 28% of consumers — a group that includes Gen Z (18-27) and younger millennials (28-35) — prefer to buy sustainable products, although some of those purchases can be restricted by income levels.

+ Showrooming, or the practice of looking at a product in a physical store and then buying it for a cheaper price online, is more likely to occur with younger consumers with between 52% and 62% saying they would shop in this manner. Some 44% of those surveyed overall said they had previously looked at a product in a store, then purchased it online.

The report also looks at the buying patterns of older consumers, including Gen X (ages 44-59) and baby boomers (ages 60 and over), as they will make up nearly 30% of furniture purchases in the second half. As those groups typically are more established financially, they also will likely spend more money on certain categories such as upholstery, mattresses, primary bedroom furniture, decorative accessories, and yes, recliners.

As always, the data is meant to enlighten and help retailers and wholesalers alike develop product based on the wants and needs of real consumers. In this regard, we hope that it proves to be a useful tool for those shopping for product during the upcoming market cycle and beyond as many of the categories and spending patterns identified align with previous survey results.

After our initial report to be published March 11 (Furniture Shopping Overview), we will publish one report each successive week as follows:

+ March 18 — Sofa and Sectional Buying Plans

+ March 25 — Occasional Table Buying Plans

+ April 1 — Mattress Buying Plans

+ April 8  — Home Design and Sustainability

+ April 15 — Furniture Shopping Plans

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.

View all posts by Thomas Russell →

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