This industry round table for Furniture Today's 10th Anniversary in 1986 featured six of us.
From Will Somers:
"Stores to align with several manufacturers"
"There's no question one change will be in the dealership structure.
I think the structure will become more similar to the dealer structure
the auto manufacturers have, where retail dealers are aligning themselves
with a manufacturer."
"However, if you look at the auto industry, most aggressive car dealer aren't willing to align themselves with only one manufacturer. You're seeing dealers that sell Toyotas and Chevrolets. I think that's the model you're going to see in the furniture industry. We're going to see retailers aligning themselves with several manufacturers, with perhaps a Mersman/Waldron collection, a Henredon collection, maybe a Thomasville collection. I think that's going to be fairly common."
"In terms of the manufacturer there's no question there will be a continuing shakedown. It just makes sense for that to happen. And in terms of the retail store, there going to be fewer and fewer stores."
From Pat Norton:
'No proof that bigger is better"
"I see continued consolidation both the retail and wholesale level as well as the manufacturing 1evel.
But I think it has yet to be proven whether either can maximize
the potential that such consolidation should create."
"I think there's a distinct possibility that some manufacturers try to move into the retail area, but we don't think that's the way to go. We need the entrepreneurial individual."
Furniture Today, September 1, 1986