December 2018 – As seen in Furniture Today

Challenging 2018 appears to end well

Clint Engel, December 24, 2019

HIGH POINT — Furniture retailers appear fairly optimistic 2019 will be a solid year for sales growth, despite coming off what has been another frustrating year for many stores across much of the country.

Spaces for retail

On the real estate front, Julius Feinblum, founder and chairman of Julius M. Feinblum Real Estate, sees the collapse of Sears as more of a positive than a negative for the industry.

“All these big boxes, these major mall anchors such as Sears, JCPenney and even Macy’s downsizing — it just creates more opportunity for real estate for our very strong regional furniture retailers,” he said.

This proved to be the case over the past two years as Top 100 companies snapped up the leases of the bankrupt Toys R US, Sports Authority, Hhgregg and others.

And even if the Sears and the Kmart leases opening up do not go to this industry, Feinblum argues that they’re still helping. Other big-box users, such as warehouse clubs or Planet Fitness, could take advantage, thus freeing up other spaces for furniture that they may have been looking to expand into before the Sears real estate became available.

Asked if the furniture industry is coming close to overstored at this point, Feinblum said that might be the case in some high-density major metros. But in many less populated but still thriving regions of the country, where the Top 100 and smaller furniture retailers are prominent; there is still plenty of room and appetite for growth.

If there’s one weakness, Feinblum believes it’s the lack of a good succession plan for aging, smaller independent retailers. The industry will continue to see retail consolidation as it has for years now, but that’s simply opening the door for more expansion by the regional and super regional chains.

January 2018 – Furniture Today

Will New Tax Cuts Lead to Furniture Store Expansion?

August 2017 – Furniture Today
Furniture Retailers Snap Up Stores Left by Mass Retail Closings

May 2017 – RetailerNOW
Are You Ready For Another Store?

February 2017 – Furniture Today
Is the Furniture Sector as Overstored as the Rest of Retail?

January 2017 – Furniture Today
Is the Art Van Deal a Sign of More Private Equity to Come?