“I think everyone agrees that price points cannot go much lower. ”
Trade shows are essentially Brick and Mortar department stores for wholesalers & manufacturers selling to retailers. Designers are the trade show equivalent of consumers. A lot of people thought people traffic was slow at High Point — business was strong!
Left – Classic Home’s Showroom Entrance at High Point
Technology Raises Sales/Foot
Technology can raise the sales per square foot at retail. The same would apply at trade shows but the implication is that for any one vendor they need less space for existing product.
Right – Nourison’s Display of Christopher Guy’s products
The alternative solution for vendors is to raise profits per square foot by expanding services allied to products. We are seeing that in the increase in on-demand services products and custom services/products such as on-demand sizes, custom color and design
Left – Spicher does Custom
Freight is a Variable Cost
For e-com products, freight is a variable cost controlled by carriers over which vendors have little control except as they negotiate volume pricing. Smaller vendors are disadvantaged without a negotiating base.
More Well Designed Rugs are Selling
The consumer is getting better and better products and more people are buying well designed rugs. That means the base is growing. Over time this will benefit the higher price points as consumers become more aware of the various quality and usage characteristics of rugs.
Customer Service Matters
Touch and feel, customer service (including white glove delivery) matters, but most of all the first challenge is to get the customer to walk in the front door, either electronic or real, and engage in a conversation at a B&M trade show or retailer.