Furniture industry in the US, over the years, has exhibited a vibrant growth pattern, and factors such as consumer disposable income, construction activity, new housing starts and state of the economy primarily drive gains for the manufacturers of household furniture. Rising concept of outdoor living, particularly lavish outdoor living spaces, comfortable seating and elaborate lighting propel the market for Outdoor Furniture. The residential segment occupies a prominent position in the market, accounting for more than 90% share in the total demand for outdoor furniture. In general, fashion and trends in the home decorating segment and lifestyle trends including outdoor rooms, ‘nesting’ and ‘cocooning’ drive demand for outdoor furniture. Over the years, these factors have contributed significantly to the growth of the industry and have irreversibly changed the industry’s landscape. In addition, demographic changes, housing sales, widespread adoption of Internet, outdoor renovation, and environmental concerns also boost the outdoor furniture market.
Competition in the outdoor furniture market has moved from the premium strata of the market to the mass-market level. Even the average households have graduated towards embracing outdoor furniture given the attractive returns earned on such an investment i.e. outdoor furnishing adds to the resale value of a home. With a growing number of customers taking cues from popular TV home makeover shows, advertising blitzes, and lifestyle magazines, awareness regarding outdoor furniture is on the rise. Widespread product/category awareness, as expected, is helping to bring about deeper market penetration and higher demand. The market largely governed by fashion trends, is currently focusing on neutral colors and simple designs for both outdoor and indoor furniture, with the luxurious, elegant look combined with comfort being the new buzzword.
Consumers of yesteryears had limited choices over style, color, design and material, which were limited mainly to wrought iron furniture, wood, and plastic. Among materials, consumer preference for Metal garden furniture continues to grow at a steady pace as it imparts a classy and traditional touch to the outdoor furniture. In particular, aluminum spearheads the US outdoor furniture market, known for its strength, lightweight, non-rusting and durability features. The metal outdoor furniture dominates over the other material types, commanding the largest chunk of the market. The segment buoyed by slew of product innovations, new designs, and improved quality is also slated to surge ahead at the strongest CAGR of 6.2% through 2017. The evergreen popularity of the Wicker/rattan furniture runs steady even today, despite its being the oldest in terms of material choice. Use of wicker in patio furniture has long been cherished for its unsurpassable elegance as well as elaborate and fine design. Additionally, the exotic look of a rattan furniture combined with its eco-friendly, natural and sustainable attributes lead to wider market acceptance.
Technology and material innovations, of late, have provided consumers a wider choice of outdoor furniture types. High quality outdoor furniture at competitive prices is the trend of today, and the market in the upcoming years is expected to be swamped by new product innovation, and sophisticated styles designed to gratify even the most critical, fashion conscious homeowner. The US market is inundated with mind-boggling varieties of outdoor furniture, given the fact that product innovation plays a crucial role in keeping consumer enthusiasm alive and aflame, primarily because outdoor furniture is looked upon more as a style statement than a basic necessity. Affluent households consider outdoor furniture as a symbolic representation of their wealth, affluence and social status in the community, and in this regard increasingly opt for high-end alternatives.