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Furniture Business Consulting

Middle East Furnishing & Furniture Industry

Thinking of a house or office without furniture and furnishing is nearly inconceivable. Furniture is the most important asset after brick and mortar that makes a place worthy of having a utility. Even a warehouse needs shelves and racks. These can be regarded as industrial furniture.

Modern-day furnishing and furnishing requirements go beyond the basics. Now, these products are more about adding style and décor to homes and offices. And the furniture and furnishing market of the UAE exactly represents that. 

Dubai and other big cities in the UAE have a pervading nature of cosmopolitanism within the Middle East. This gives rise to massive market demand for uber-class furniture and furnishing products. Rapidly developing real estate projects also fuels this demand.

Qatar & UAE are Middle East countries which have one of the premier per capita income levels in the world. So, when it comes to luxury furniture and furnishing, the Middle East or the GCC (Gulf Cooperation Council) market is ready to explore. But other middle-eastern countries like the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Oman, and Bahrain also cannot be ignored when it comes to the market for exquisite and premium furniture and furnishing products. A unique taste of aesthetics strongly driven by a rich culture and tradition is exhibited in these parts of the world.

Few Common Challenges

The indispensability of furniture & furnishing products in domestic and commercial buildings gives immense attractiveness for business opportunities. The market needs are fulfilled by various businesses involved in the furniture supply chain like manufacturers, suppliers, assemblers, and retailers. And every business in the industry has unique challenges to face placed throughout the supply chain.

Bulky Nature of many Furniture Products

Many furniture products are bulky by nature. This gives rise to mobility problems in merchandising, handling and transportation. The problem is more acute with physical retail stores. But online retail furniture businesses also have to pay for the movement and storage of their inventory. With space being a constraint for most businesses, they have to be specific with their offerings and supply chain management. Even with the anticipation of demand, all products cannot be pushed through the supply chain and distribution network.

The risk of damage always remains high with bulky furniture items. Even a small damage would warrant a return or replacement. Sending such products back to warehouses or workshops leads to losses or increased costing. And until the defective products are corrected and sold again, the investments remain stuck.

Anticipating and Holding Inventory

Customizable furniture is a niche-oriented business approach. In ready-made furniture, the options of customization are limited. But in customizable furniture, customers have freedom in deciding on the design, colour, forming material, etc. However, inventory management poses a big challenge to businesses that deal in ready-made as well as customizable furniture.

For the local workshop-based retail businesses, it is difficult to anticipate the varying degree of customization requests and store inventory accordingly. And storing inventory in anticipation of future demand also does not go well with business prudence.


For ready-made furniture retailers, the same problem arises in the form of delays in fulfilling customer orders because of inventory issues at the source or workshop level.

Returns and Replacements

Made of plastic, wood, steel or any other material, furniture products are bulky by nature. They may be heavy and consume a lot of space. When the question of logistics arises, moving around furniture inventory is a heavy-duty task. Returns and replacements are not easy for businesses. The entire order fulfilment process has to be carried out more than once. This also has costing, financial and manpower implications. That is why it is often considered that effective supply chain management in the furniture retail industry is of paramount importance.

Challenges in the Brick and Mortar Model

The unorganized sector constitutes a huge chunk of the global furniture market. Such businesses are not yet properly synchronized with the formal mainstream industry. Most of these businesses are MSMEs by volume of sales and revenue generation. Only a selected few local brands and businesses operating across the Middle East, especially in Dubai & Saudi Arabia, possess the resourcefulness to go for scale and expansion. Organised furniture retail businesses are now expanding across middle east countries including Qatar, Kuwait, Bahrain and Oman.

The strategic significance of a strong organization is often undermined by many conventional businesses. And as a result, they exhibit weaker middle-level management. With weaker middle-level management, the owners have to get involved in the routine business operations including supervision. On the contrary, business owners should be focusing on their long-term business goals and upgrading their furniture store business plan. Competition from global brands like Ikea is making the furniture chain retail market competitive. 

Challenges in the eCommerce Model (Online Furniture Business)

The problem of the bulkiness of furniture products affects the eCommerce retail businesses as well. Whether the logistics and mobility activities are carried out by internal employees or a third-party service provider, it is never easy for any business to achieve efficiency here. But the products have to move. Even the eCommerce-based inventory-light business models have to deal with it. Businesses also have to see whether the required logistical facilities and services are available in the delivery destination.

Another tough operational challenge for online furniture businesses is the on-site assembly function. Customer experience can easily go for a toss when operational planning is poor. Adequate QA and QC measures must be placed at the relevant junctures to ensure that the package is complete in every respect for passing on to the next point in the supply chain and distribution network.

Challenges in the Hybrid Model

In recent years, many brick and mortar businesses and online furniture business startups have started to pursue omnichannel tactics and strategies in the furniture market. The hybrid model allows businesses to make the furniture purchasing journey easier for customers. This is possible with eCommerce platforms and technologies or even furniture studios.

In recent years, many brick and mortar businesses and online furniture business startups have started to pursue omnichannel tactics and strategies in the furniture market. The hybrid model allows businesses to make the furniture purchasing journey easier for customers. This is possible with eCommerce platforms and technologies or even furniture studios.

But with the opportunity for online furniture retailers in the Middle East, the problem of furniture products crops up in the supply chain activities and inventory management of the hybrid models.

Managing inventory simultaneously for multiple channels is a daunting challenge. It calls for having centralised hubs to act as fulfilment centres and workshops. And with these hubs, significant investments get involved in inventory storage and transit.

Challenges in Wholesale Furniture/Large Retail Warehouse Stores

Leading construction companies have entered the furniture stores wholesale & retail business model with large warehouses. These large stores also accommodate a large variety of Building Materials. Few eminent players across middle east within furniture and building material retail are Danube Home, Home Box, etc

Why YRC

We are a boutique retail and eCommerce consulting firm. Our growing international presence extends to the UAE and Dubai. We design and deliver business solutions for our clients in the furniture industry. Our services in furniture business consulting include market research, business model development, furniture showroom business plan development, business strategy, SOP design and development, talent management and organisational structuring, and franchise consulting. We are a process-oriented enterprise. We engage a team of professional furniture consultants in service design and delivery.

In the furniture and home furnishing industry, the sub-verticals that come under the ambit of our services include premium home furnishings and furniture, office furniture, home décor, luxury furniture, specialised furniture, kitchen furniture, modular & wooden furniture, indoor and outdoor furniture, etc.

In furniture industry consulting, the types of business models that we offer assistance in developing include furniture startups, online retail furniture brand, omnichannel furniture, furniture manufacturing process flow chart, furniture exports, furniture D2C and furniture franchising, etc.

In furniture retailer business consulting, YRC delivers insightful market research reports for your furniture business idea validation. These reports comprise actionable information and recommendations for better planning and strategy formulation.

In business plan development, our team of furniture business consultants work towards formulating a strong UVP-based business model. The team also charts the roadmap required for the creation and delivery of the intended value.

With retail and eCommerce as our domain expertise, our team of offline and online retail furniture business consultants are adept at crafting hybrid furniture business plan and S&OP strategy

YRC assesses and prepares the various commercial and financial estimations and projections that will be required to implement and run the business for a given timeframe. Aspects covered here include capital and operating expenditure, revenue and cash flow projections, purchase planning, ROI and break-even analysis, and more.

In franchise consulting services, we assist clients define their franchise expansion strategies, prepare the financial assessments, define evaluation parameters to search for ideal furniture franchise partners, draft franchise legal agreements, design and implement SOPs, and establish the required franchise audit processes.

In SOP consulting services, our focus is on streamlining the business processes, creating the operational routines, achieving standardisation, and building a robust furniture management system for our clients. SOPs provide the groundwork for automation. It also helps identify the right furniture retail management software.

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To know more about our furniture business consulting services for the Middle East or if you have any queries for our furniture retail consultants, drop us a message to schedule a callback

FAQs

How to expand furniture business in the Middle East countries like Dubai & Saudi Arabia?

Middle East growing infrastructure has the potential to absorb new and existing brands within growth potential for all, if planned the right way.

Expansion strategy shall vary for physical furniture retailers and online stores. Lets, understand critical parameters common for both business models:

  1. Define Furniture Brand Niche: This shall differentiate your brand from competitors
  2. Enhance Customer Experience (CX): Furniture buying is more about an experience unlike buying a grocery
  3. Franchising Furniture Business: Furniture franchising has been successful amongst domestic and global brands
  4. Omnichannel Retail Presence: An offline brand going online or vice-versa, today developing an omnichannel experience within the furniture industry is no longer an option. click here to know more.

How to validate my furniture business idea?

Market Research of the furniture industry shall play a vital role to validate your business idea. Market Research Report must include the following:

  1. Competitor Research
  2. Product & Pricing Research
  3. Demand Research
  4. Customer Research
  5. Market Size and SWOT Analysis

 

To know more about validating your furniture business ideas, get in touch with YRC Furniture Business Consultant today !!

How to validate my furniture business idea?

Starting a furniture business needs to follow a systematic methodology to avoid unforeseen situations. After consulting numerous furniture brands, YRC experts has listed down ten steps to be followed in the sequential order:

  1. Furniture Industry Market Research
  2. Niche / Unique Value Proposition of your brand
  3. Product Range Plan Finalisation
  4. Making Furniture Business Plan (also for Investors/ Financial Institutions)
  5. Supply chain operations plan (including: first-mile, mid-mile and last-mile delivery planning)
  6. IT Softwares finalisation and Webstore development
  7. Developing Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs)
  8. Brand Pre-Launch & Go-To-Market Strategy
  9. Digital Marketing Plan for Furniture Business (online & offline)

How can SOPs help implement furniture management systems?

SOPs are standard operating procedures which defines the 5WH1H i.e. What, Where, When, Why, Who & How of any given process across the furniture brand to streamline operations and achieve scalability. With SOPs implementing furniture management systems becomes easy. Replicating these SOPs across retail-chain stores becomes possible with a robust furniture retail software or ERP.

How to develop a furniture showroom business plan?

Business Plan shall help to assess the financial viability of the furniture showroom business.

Few things to consider while developing furniture business plan, are as follows:

  1. CAPEX Investment for next 05 years
  2. Fixed and variable OPEX for next 05 years
  3. Expansion plan for retail shop and online business
  4. Sales & Operations Plan (S&OP) to assess the Infra requirements
  5. Organisational structure to assess the HR requirements
  6. Business Model Finalization i.e. Retail, Wholesale, B2B, D2C, Hybrid, etc

Validate your business idea with a professional business plan developed by furniture business consultants, to safeguard your investments.

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