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Thread: Furniture store row

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    Cyburbian illinoisplanner's avatar
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    Furniture store row

    Have you ever heard of a bunch of furniture stores all in one area all competing against one another (similar to a strip of car dealerships)?? Well, near me, there are plans to build an upscale mega-lifestyle center with 3 and possibly even more furniture stores, plus 2 that are nearby. They include Wicke's, Dania, Ashley, Thomasville, and Ethan Allen. I would not be at all surprised if they add 5 more to that roster. In the past, there has been a furniture store about 5 miles away that has gone through about 3 different tenants in 5 years and is now vacant. Other area furniture stores haven't been highly successful in the past either. Sure, there is plenty of new housing, near-6 digit HH incomes, and other attractive demographics, but is this too much of one specialty? Aren't they all going to put each other out of business in 5 years? Or will this be destination retail due to the draws of the lifestyle centers? Does your area have anything like this?
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    Cyburbian jread's avatar
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    Can't say I've ever seen anything like that
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    Cyburbian Emeritus Chet's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by illinoisplanner
    Aren't they all going to put each other out of business in 5 years? Or will this be destination retail due to the draws of the lifestyle centers? Does your area have anything like this?
    We have several similar situations in our area. It makes it easier to comparision shop, so the business model is either to have a wider selection and superior price point, or have a niche the others are not filling. I think the consumer is the winner from these clusters.

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    Cyburbian PlannerByDay's avatar
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    The City of Grand Rapids, Michigan has a lot of furniture stores along one of their major streets and cross streets. While not very common around here I am not really all that suprised since furniture is one of those products that you shop around for and when you don't want to travel all over looking for something if you do have to.

    Mrs. PBD and I are looking into getting some new furniture and will go to Grand Rapids and look there.

    On a similar note, High Point North Carolina is a mecca for furniture sales. The Mrs. might be heading down there with my stepmom to sit on some couches and chairs.

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    Cyburbian Cardinal's avatar
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    This is getting to be the common model. As others have said, furniture shopping is a comparative business. Clustering the stores is a technique that offers convenience to shoppers, and the huge selection becomes a draw. You will find people from a very large region coming to the center. I would not be surprised to find that they have a draw of fifty miles, so your local population is irrelevent.
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    Cyburbian Greenescapist's avatar
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    Like Cardinal said, that's a pretty typical model for businesses. I remember in economics class that they were called agglomeration economies. It works with items where people comparison shop-- furniture, jewelery, car dealers, etc. Helps consumers because you can go to one spot and the retailers compete against each other, could result in lower prices.

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    Cyburbian illinoisplanner's avatar
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    Thanks for the input everyone! I guess it makes sense that they use the clustering formula for easy consumer convenience, large draw, comparison shopping and a competitive market that results in lower prices. I just hope all of those things happen that will allow these businesses to thrive. If anyone else has any other examples of other types of retailers that follow this strategy, please share.
    "Life's a journey, not a destination"
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    Cyburbian Big Owl's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by PlannerByDay
    The City of Grand Rapids, Michigan has a lot of furniture stores along one of their major streets and cross streets. While not very common around here I am not really all that suprised since furniture is one of those products that you shop around for and when you don't want to travel all over looking for something if you do have to.

    Mrs. PBD and I are looking into getting some new furniture and will go to Grand Rapids and look there.

    On a similar note, High Point North Carolina is a mecca for furniture sales. The Mrs. might be heading down there with my stepmom to sit on some couches and chairs.
    Furniture is big business here in western piedmont of North Carolina. US Hwy 321 between Hickory and Lenoir, NC is billed as 20 miles of furniture. So the grouping of it is not too far fetched for me. Here it seems that CVS and Eckerds, both drug store chains like to be near each other. I think big ticket items like cars and furniture are prone to the clustering. Mobile home dealerships act much the same way around here.

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    Cyburbian dankrzyz's avatar
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    For those of you from Texas, think downtown Garland or Burnet Road in Austin. Both little centers of the furniture trade. It's amazing how these spring up... but go with it! It's often good for consumers and might be a draw for those ancillary / complementary businesses, like reupholstery services, commercial carpet cleaners, rug stores, home furnishing dealers, et cetera.

    Quote Originally posted by illinoisplanner
    Have you ever heard of a bunch of furniture stores all in one area all competing against one another (similar to a strip of car dealerships)??...... Does your area have anything like this?

  10. #10
    Cyburbian
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    Yep, there are similar clusters in the SLC valley as well. Interesting to see what happens around the IKEA store opening here in spring 2007.

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    Cyburbian DetroitPlanner's avatar
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    Shoe stores also need a critical cluster in order to work effectively

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    Cyburbian Emeritus Bear Up North's avatar
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    Toledo has a small cluster of furniture stores. A suburb (Maumee) now has a cluster of home improvement stores (not big box-type), such as tile centers, kitcken and bath centers, etc.

    For years Toledo's Central Avenue had auto dealers lined for a mile or two (2). Their joint television advertisements (a great way to reduce their cost) included the music to "The Stripper" and the phrase "The Central Avenue Strip". These dealers are still active, although the sprawl-type growth along Central Avenue is now a couple miles west of them. Guess what is happening at this location? Another row of auto dealers. THIS row includes Jaguar, Lexus, Harley-Davison, etc.

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    Cyburbian cch's avatar
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    Isn't the thinking that if you have a cluster, out-of-town shoppers would be more willing to make the trip to check out all of the furniture stores, so they each end up getting more outside business?

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    Cyburbian DetroitPlanner's avatar
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    Shoe stores used to cluster in malls. Jewelry Stores still do, I don't think its just for out of towners.

    Clustering is going away. Mall stores like Kinney's, Florshiem, Thom McCann are a thing of the past. These are being replaced with large outlets like DSW. More selection, but less room to haggle or comparison shop.
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