Two weeks ago, we invited our audience of independent furniture brands, contract upholsterers, and boutique upholstery shops to participate in a brief survey. We wanted to learn how the COVID-19 crisis had impacted this segment of the industry as most states started cautiously reopening.
We found the responses to be varied and enlightening. Here's a summary of what we learned:
The impacts were not all negative
While more than half (56%) of the respondents admitted the virus has had a negative impact on their business, a surprising 22% reported either a "somewhat positive" or "very positive" effect. Another 22% have thus far seen no real impact on their business at all, either positive or negative.
This is encouraging, as the economic news has been overwhelmingly dire since lockdowns first began. It's good to see a healthy number of upholsterers were able to survive and thrive despite challenges.
The challenges were varied
Obviously, every respondent has dealt with some challenges since this situation began, both inside and outside of their own businesses. The list is varied, but issues with supply chain and shipping delays rose to the top of the list.
Another surprise in this response was the fact that less than half of the upholsterers saw their regular clientele spending less. That would indicate a lot of contract jobs were maintained, so upholstery services were being prioritized even as most people and organizations were coming to grips with economic changes.
How upholsterers shopped for supplies changed... for some
We went into this question expecting a unanimous "yes", but we got a much more mixed response:
Nearly half of the respondents saw no change in their ordering behavior. So, although most companies felt the crunch of shipping delays and supply chain disruption, they didn't turn to new sources for supplies.
In this case, we're recommending a different path. One of the most powerful lessons businesses learned during the last three months was the value of a strong e-commerce arm to augment more traditional shopping and distribution experiences. Going forward, we're going to see a huge surge in ordering goods and services online, including upholstery supplies. As a result, the infrastructure supporting e-commerce fulfillment is only going to improve.
Now may be the best time to seek out an online supplier you can trust and start getting used to our "new reality". Get started today with 10% off for new customers and free shipping for any order over $350: