Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Designing Outdoor Spaces

In a recent survey conducted by Houzz in was found that 80% of homeowners hired professional help to renovate their house last year, with 60% of homeowners making upgrades to outdoor spaces.  The most common upgrade was to patios, decks, and terraces.  With over half of all outdoor spaces being designed for year-round use, it should come as no surprise that the most active regions for improvements to outdoor spaces were in the South and West.

Designers try to create outdoor spaces that will allow you to do everything that you normally do indoors, effectively expanding your home to the outdoor space.  The majority of designers will even try to match the styles and colors you have inside your house to what they are designing for the outside.  They primarily focus on three activities when designing an outdoor space, entertaining, relaxing, and cooking.  For an outdoor space, designers on average spent $6500 on outdoor furniture this year, a 37% increase from last year when they spent only $4750.  They also spent an average of $1500 on grills, up 25% from last year.  But the biggest change is in outdoor accessories such as rugs and wall decor, designers spent $2000 on average for these items, an 82% increase from 2014's average of $1100.  Perhaps the main reason for this tremendous increase in spending on accessories comes from the desire to make outdoor spaces feel more like indoor spaces.

The only items that designers are spending less on this year is outdoor lighting, which at $2000 on average is down 11% from last year.  This is a bit surprising since the most common technology designers incorporate into outdoor spaces is LED lighting.  But as improvements are being made in this new technology, prices for LED lighting have been dropping.

Designers are also focusing less on more traditional uses for outdoor spaces.  Only 57% of designers include plans for gardening in their designs.  45% will include plans for playing with children.  While only 43% will include plans for sunbathing and swimming.  This further emphasizes the idea that the space outside of your home is just an extension of the space inside your home, instead of being a completely separate space devoted to only outdoor activities.

Designers most typically source products for outdoor spaces at trade shows and design centers, but many of them also go to casual furniture stores or look online.  If you are a supplier of casual furniture or accessories it would be a good idea to make sure that you product can be found in these places.  If you need help with cash flow so you can attend the markets, or need to start offering net 30 day terms on your invoices, give DSA Factors a call at 773-248-9000.  We have been working in the furniture and accessories industry since 1987 and are very familiar with the seasonal nature of the casual furniture industry.  Also, look out for us as we will be visiting the Casual Market Chicago from September 16-19.

Friday, September 4, 2015

Outdoor Rugs - The Newest Trend in the Furniture and Accessories Industry

One of the biggest trends in the last few years has been creating outdoor rooms.  While this has been great for the outdoor furniture industry, it has also been great for the outdoor rug industry.  And while the furniture companies are playing it safe with neutral colors, the rug companies are offering colors that hadn't been available in outdoor spaces in the past.

While people do like to have color in the outdoor rooms, its a lot safer to use a neutral colors for the expensive furniture rather than invest all of your money in a bright red couch.  As a result the furniture manufacturers have been sticking to the browns and beiges that they know work.  However, with rugs being much more affordable, only taking up about 10-15% of the price that consumers will pay for an outdoor space, consumers are willing to take more of a chance on introducing color to the space with a bright red rug.

Rug manufacturers have taken notice of this and as durable technologies are improving, they are offering more and more colorful designs in materials durable enough to stand up to the outdoors.  In fact technology has improved so much in recent years that an outdoor rug can look just as nice as an indoor rug.  And since outdoor rugs tend to be much cheaper than indoor rugs, some people are even purchasing outdoor rugs for inside their house.

Of course it isn't just consumers and manufacturers that are excited about outdoor rugs these days, but also outdoor furniture retailers.  These outdoor furniture stores are starting to realize something that their traditional indoor counterparts have known for years.  One of the best ways to increase sales figures by 15% is to sell accessories.  It doesn't require attracting more customers to your store, all you have to do is sell more items to the customers who are already buying.

But just like in a traditional furniture store, outdoor furniture stores need to stage these rugs correctly.  It is important to pair appropriate rugs with outdoor furniture sets so that the customer can get a feel for how their outdoor space will look.  Simply throwing all the rugs into a corner of your store, or pairing a traditional rug with a modern furniture set is not going to help sell rugs to your customers.  However, even if staged properly it might not be the style that your customer is looking for.  It is important that in the same way you would display fabric samples for upholstered furniture, you also need to display different styles and textures for outdoor rugs.

If you are a rug manufacturer, now would be a great time to get into the outdoor rug market.  Or if you already make outdoor rugs, this would be a great time to expand your product line.  This is a fast growing sector of the rug industry, and it hasn't been over-saturated with competition yet.  If you need money to expand your product line, or you can't handle the demand you are experiencing for your current product line, give DSA Factors a call today at 773-248-9000.  We have been specializing in the furniture and accessories industry since 1987.  With our services you can speed up your cash flow and save you time on credit checks and collections so that you can focus on what really matters.

Monday, August 17, 2015

Learn Just How Easy Factoring Your Receivables With Accounts Receivable Financing Can Be!

Factoring your receivables has many benefits:

  • Improved Cash Flow
  • Offer Your Customers Net 30 Day Terms
  • Eliminate The Need For Credit Checking
  • Outsource Your Collection Work
  • Insure Your Receivables With Our Non-Recourse Factoring
  • Show Your Customers You Are Credit Worthy
  • Get Larger Orders and Larger Accounts
With DSA Factors you can start factoring your receivables today.  Why wait months for a bank to turn down your loan request, DSA Factors will get you money that you need today.  Our process is easy and we have no long term contracts and no minimum volumes.  We have been factoring commercial accounts since 1987 and our large database of retailers throughout the US and Canada allows us to approve most of your accounts instantly.  Give us a call today at 773-248-9000 and learn how we can help your company grow.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Where do you buy your bedding?

There are a large variety of types of stores selling furniture these days, but when it comes to bedding, how old you are probably determines where you shop.  A recent study in Furniture Today revealed which generations purchase bedding at different types of stores.  Overall, Millennials and Generation X each have a 35% share of the market, while Baby Boomers have a 26% share, and Seniors a 4% share.

Bedding specialty stores get a large variety of customers, but they also tend to have the highest prices with the price of their average queen set costing $699.  As a result Generation X makes up their largest share of customers at 37%, followed by Baby Boomers at 34%, Millennials at 23%, and Seniors at 6%.

Traditional furniture stores also seem to receive a fairly evenly distributed clientele.  While not as expensive as bedding specialists, their prices are still up there with the average queen set costing $599.  Millennials make up their largest share at 36%, followed by Baby Boomers at 33%, Generation X at 30%, and Seniors at 1%.

Beyond these two types of stores, things get a little more lopsided.  There are the manufacturer branded furniture stores whose average queen set costs $599, department stores where the average queen set costs $499, warehouse membership clubs have the average queen set at $479, online retailers where the average queen set is $325, discount department stores where the average queen set is $275, and finally lifestyle furniture stores where the average queen set will only set you back $155.

It should come as no surprise that Millennials prefer to shop at the cheaper places.  They hold a 58% share of sales at lifestyle furniture stores such as IKEA, a 43% share at discount department stores such as Walmart, and a 59% share at online retailers such as Amazon.  But what may surprise you is that they also hold a 53% share at the pricier manufacturer branded furniture stores such as Ashley Home Stores.

Generation X prefers to shop at department stores such as Macy's where they hold a 55% share of the business.  They also hold a 43% share at warehouse membership clubs such as Costco, a 40% share at discount department stores, and a 31% share at manufacturer branded furniture stores.

Baby Boomers do most of their shopping at the bedding specialty store and traditional furniture stores.  Warehouse membership clubs are next, but only 21% of their business comes from Baby Boomers.

For Seniors who only hold a 4% share of the overall market, they take a large 14% share of business at warehouse membership clubs.  They also hold a 7% share of the business at department stores.

If you are targeting your mattresses towards a certain demographic, make sure you are selling to the stores they shop at.  If you need help give DSA Factors a call today at 773-248-9000 and get paid today for your net 30 day invoices.

Monday, August 10, 2015

Online Furniture Sales are Booming

Online furniture sales for 2014 reached $9.7 billion, an over 14% increase from 2013's $8.5 billion according to Furniture Today.  Leading the pack were Amazon who experienced 19.5% growth, Overstock with 14.8%, Wayfair with an amazing 44% sales growth, and Zulily with a whopping 72.% sales growth over 2013.  All four of the companies had sales volumes in the billions.  However, overall furniture sales only increased by 3% over this last year.  This online sales growth can be accredited to the fact that 8 out of 10 consumers in the US have bought furniture or bedding online in the past year.

Now it may not surprise you that most of the people buying online were young, but you might be surprised by how affluent online shoppers are.  Well over half of the households that bought bedding online this past year were under the age of 35 and make over $75,000 a year.  22% of households were under the age of 25, with 34% of them between the ages of 25 and 34.  When it comes to household income, 32% of households that bought bedding online make between $75,000 and $100,000, with 12% making between $100,000 and $150,000, and another 12% making over $150,000.  This might explain why only 59% of consumers agree that online retailers carry affordable furniture.

To further explain these numbers, 61% of online furniture consumers own their house, and 59% have a full time job.  When it comes to education, 33% of consumers hold a bachelor's degree with another 20% holding a master's degree or higher.

The average consumer will visit five different web sites when shopping for furniture online.  However, only 56% of shoppers will start their search online, the rest still start their furniture search in more traditional brick and mortar stores.  The main reasons why consumers are ultimately buying online is because of the large product selection available through online retailers, and online retailers provide them with design ideas.  Many of these retailers will help out consumers with design ideas by maintaining active blogs.

If you aren't selling your merchandise to online retailers you are missing out on a lot of business.  Let DSA Factors help you by factoring your online retailer accounts.  We have lots of experience working with Amazon, Overstock, Wayfair, and Zulily, as well as with One Kings Lane, Hayneedle, Gilt, Hautelook, and many more.  Give us a call today at 773-248-9000, don't let these sales opportunities slip away.

Monday, August 3, 2015

Factoring Your Receivables at a High Advance Rate

When you are looking for a factor, one of the most important things to consider is how much you get advanced.  Many factoring companies will advertise 70% or even 80% advance on your receivables.  At DSA Factors we offer you 90%-100% advance on your receivables.

Of course, if you are new factoring, you might ask why not advance at 100%?  It's simple, all factoring companies take reserve, this protects them against credits your accounts may take for damaged merchandise or any other problems they may have.  It is very common for factoring companies to take 20% or more in reserves.  In fact, there are some factoring companies that won't even pay you until they get paid from your accounts.

At DSA Factors we know that it is important for you to get all of your money as soon as possible.  For that reason we only take 10% in reserves when you first start factoring with us.  So lets say your first batch of invoices is worth $5000, we advance you $4500 and hold onto $500.  We then receive payments of $3000 and you submit your next batch of invoices for $5000.  At this point your overall balance is $7000, so we will need to keep $700 in reserve.  That means that we will advance you $4800 and only hold back $200, that's a 96% advance on your invoices!  If you continue with a similar pattern, soon we will be advancing you 100% on your invoices.  See the table below for a clearer picture of how this works:

Date Invoices Submitted Payments Received Overall Balance Advance Hold Back Reserve Advance Rate
June 1 $5,000.00 $0.00 $5,000.00 $4,500.00 $500.00 $500.00 90%
June 15 $5,000.00 $3,000.00 $7,000.00 $4,800.00 $200.00 $700.00 96%
June 25 $3,000.00 $4,000.00 $6,000.00 $3,000.00 $0.00 $700.00 100%
July 5 $6,000.00 $5,000.00 $7,000.00 $6,000.00 $0.00 $700.00 100%

As you can see, it doesn't take very long to build up your reserves to a level where you can get advanced 100% on your receivables.  Furthermore, those reserves belong to you, so should business ever slow down you could request we send your reserves back to you, and then build them back up once business starts to pick up again.

It is important when selecting a factoring company you pay close attention to how much money they will advance you.  After all, one of the benefits of factoring is improving your cash flow, and if your factoring company is holding back more than they should be, then they aren't doing their jobs.

If your factoring company is advancing you at anything less than 90-100%, give DSA Factors a call today at 773-248-9000.  Its time start getting PAID for your receivables!

Thursday, July 30, 2015

What's in a Mattress?

Walk into any mattress or furniture store and one of the first things you'll see is a cutaway corner of a mattress showing you the innersprings or foam that make up the mattress.  Stay a little longer and the salesman will start explaining to you about memory foam and innersprings and gel.  They love to talk about gel and how it will keep you cooler at night.  But is this really what you want to hear about?  Do you even know what gel is?

According to a recent poll by Furniture Today, only 31% of consumers say that the construction materials of their mattress are important to them.  While most people do want to know what their mattress is made of, its really more out of curiosity than out of actual interest.  Yet construction materials is something that these stores always stress and show in their advertising.

For the most part consumers don't really know a whole lot about construction materials, and why should they, all they really want is a good night's sleep.  Consumers are much more concerned with more practical aspects like sleep, comfort, durability, and support.  These are the things that really matter to them, after all, it doesn't really matter how many springs or how much gel is in your mattress if you can't get a good night's sleep on it.

However, according to research, 31% of bedding specialists always feature construction material in the advertising while 69% of them always talk about it on the sales room floor.  For those that don't always tout the materials, they all say that they sometimes tout the materials.  These numbers go down a bit when you move to furniture stores.  Only 9% of furniture stores always feature materials in the advertising, while 35% of them never feature materials.  When you get to the sales floor only 54% say they always tout the materials, with the rest saying that they only sometimes tout the materials.

According to Bob Muenkel, director of sales education and development at Serta, "[consumers don't] need to know every nitty-gritty detail", the key is to "keep it simple, less is more".

If you need to focus more on reaching out to your customers, give DSA Factors a call today.  Let us manage your receivables and improve your cash flow so that you can focus on what really matters.