The Love Affair Has Ended

The Love Affair Has Ended

Gregory Han
Jan 16, 2008

If there's one jingle that I remember quite fondly from my childhood, it's "You'll love it at Levitz". Looks like we won't be loving anything from Levitz Furniture, Bombay Co., Mattress Gallery, Sofa Express and quite a few other furniture shops. With the sharp downturn in the housing market, many Southern California furniture stores are facing lean times, and a few are having to throw in their cards. Are we seeing the beginning of the end for many independent and chain furniture retailers?
[Photo: John McCoy/Daily News]

According to the Daily News, retailers like Maxim's Furniture Inc. in North Hollywood have seen a 25% downturn in business, and even larger chains like Pier One Imports and Cost Plus World Market are being squeezed, all victims of the housing market crisis.

Has this downturn in the economy affected your own decorating and purchasing habits? Industry experts predict a recovery in the second half, as "57% percent of sales are made in the second half...[people] move in summer, decorate in the fall", but we're more inclined to expect consumers to forgo purchasing big ticket items with a looming recession and refocus on redecorating and renovating rather than rely on retail (that's sure a lot of "r's" in that sentence).

From our observation, many consumers are now relying on large discount retailers like Target, Walmart and Kohl's, alongside online resources, for their furniture purchases, forgoing traditional furniture retailers. IKEA remains a strong consumer destination, but we'd be curious to see if their numbers also reflect a slowdown in purchases. We're just disappointed to hear we're likely to have less and less options in the coming months (and to know, a few long standing independent retailers will lose their businesses).

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