OC residents decide to wait for new furniture


While reports of dire home sales are all over the news, its amazing to think how the average home owner can succumb to the media hype. Dont get me wrong if home sales are sliding, they are sliding, but if you purchase your home as a place for your family to live and not as a 14 month investment, time is historically on your side. A new article from the OC Register reports that home furnishings companies in Orange County are seeing foot traffic slow down, but most are looking for a swift recovery.

NEW BUSINESS MODEL

Cordova, the housekeeper, is skittish as she watches home sales and prices fall.

“We’re spending less,” she said. “We’re buying just want we need.”

She needs new window blinds and, on a recent afternoon, she stopped by the Home Depot in Santa Ana, and then at a nearby Anna’s Linens, to compare prices.

“I go here and there looking for deals,” she said.

She’ll take the Anna’s Linens blinds because they’re cheaper. Aggressive pricing is one strategy Anna’s is employing to offset the negative housing impact on its business. It also recently started expanding its merchandise mix by carrying the Veratex bedding and bath brand. The same Veratex comforter set that goes for $299 to $399 elsewhere sells for $99 at Anna’s, said Scott Gladstone, chief operating officer.

That new Veratex ad ran on television, a marketing medium Anna’s entered late last year to reach a broader audience, including Macy’s and Pottery Barn shoppers who are pinched by the slowing housing market. The TV ads are working, including in Orange County where the Anna’s brand awareness is low, Gladstone said. The 250-store chain only has five locations here.

“We’re seeing a lot of south Orange County residents driving up to our store in Santa Ana,” said Gladstone, explaining why the company will open its first south Orange County store.

Gladstone declined to give specific numbers for the privately held company, but said business is good. If the company didn’t change its strategies, he said, “Anna’s would face a difficult retail environment.” Full article.

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