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Quality: The name of the outdoor game

The 13,878 consumers responding to Casual Living and HGTV’s exclusive Consumer Views Survey were asked this question: “When buying a dining set, what features are important when deciding to buy one set over another?”

Durability topped the list, cited by 99% of responding consumers. As a 49-year-old from Florida said, “The dining set sits outside year round, so it must be durable and of high quality.”

Comfort was also critically important, cited by 97% of consumers. A 57-year-old from California put it this way, “I know what I want and don’t want, and I want more comfortable chairs.”

Good news for the industry: one-fourth of consumers plan to replace their dining set this year and another fourth will buy one next year. Nearly six out of 10 said they’ll purchase a higher-quality set than what they currently own.

One-fourth expect to spend between $600 and $999 on a new dining set and 14% plan to spend $1,000 or more. Nearly one-third of consumers with incomes of $100,000 or more said they’ll spend $1,000 or more.

About half of consumers said they would shop at a home improvement center first for a new dining set.

This year 27%
Next year 25%
Within the next five years 46%
Never 2%


Northeast Midwest South West
Other includes hardware store, supermarket, drug store, interior designer, feed & seed store, military exchange, custom-made, antique store and home accent store, among others.
Home improvement center 40% 49% 51% 42%
Discount department store 12% 15% 12% 13%
Specialty store 12% 11% 12% 15%
Direct-to-consumer 9% 7% 8% 10%
Warehouse club 6% 4% 6% 9%
Department store 13% 4% 3% 3%
Traditional furniture store 1% 4% 2% 2%
Lifestyle store 2% 1% 2% 3%
Garden center 2% 3% 2% 1%
Other 3% 2% 2% 2%


One in four of the nearly 14,000 consumers answering the exclusive Casual Living and HGTV survey currently own a conversation group. The majority of groups consist of chairs and an occasional table, and three out of four are deep-seating.

Two-fifths of responding consumers plan to replace their conversation group this year or next year, and more than half said they’ll add a fire pit. A 38-year-old from Nevada said she wants to buy “a more comfortable deep-seating group with a fire pit/coffee table.”

Performance fabrics continue to be important to consumers. While 85% of the current cushions are performance fabrics, a whopping 99% of consumers said their new chairs, sofas and loveseats will have performance fabrics. As a 40-year-old from Texas said, “I’m looking for fabric that can hold up to extreme sun and wind.”

Two-fifths of consumers said they would first shop at a home improvement center for a new conversation group. Home improvement centers are the most popular shopping destinations for consumers living in the South and Midwest. Overall, 12% of respondents plan to shop a specialty store first.

About one-third of consumers expect to spend between $500 and $999 on a new conversation group, and 18% said they’ll spend $1,000 or more. Consumers first shopping a specialty store expect to spend the most — 26% plan to spend between $1,000 and $1,999 and 10% said they’ll spend $2,000 or more.

This year 18%
Next year 21%
Within the next five years 53%
Never 8%


Northeast Midwest South West
Other includes hardware store, supermarket, drug store, interior designer, feed & seed store, military exchange custom-made, antique store and home accent store, among others.
Home improvement center 34% 42% 45% 37%
Discount department store 13% 17% 13% 14%
Specialty store 12% 12% 12% 13%
Direct-to-consumer 14% 9% 10% 12%
Warehouse club 6% 5% 6% 10%
Department store 10% 3% 3% 3%
Traditional furniture store 3% 5% 4% 4%
Lifestyle store 4% 2% 3% 4%
Garden center 2% 3% 2% 1%
Other 2% 2% 2% 2%


Terms

Department store: Full-line department stores, such as JCPenney, Macy’s, Bloomingdale’s, Neiman-Marcus and Fortunoff. Also includes Sears.

Direct-to-consumer: Includes retailers who primarily sell through the Internet, catalogs, television or home parties.

Discount department store: General merchandise retailers, including national, regional and local stores, as well as closeout stores and off-price retailers. Examples include Wal-Mart, Target, Kmart, Meijer, Fred Meyer and Big Lots.

Garden center: Retailers where garden products and supplies is the single largest category. Most are local retailers.

Home improvement center: Big-box home improvement centers, such as Lowe’s and Home Depot, as well as local home improvement centers.

Lifestyle store: Retailers that carry furniture, decorative accessories and soft goods at full price and may or may not carry housewares, small appliances, gourmet foods, apparel, jewelry and personal care items. Examples include Crate & Barrel, Ikea, Pottery Barn and Restoration Hardware.

Specialty store: Includes casual furniture specialists, hearth & patio specialists and pool & patio specialists, most of which are local retailers.

Traditional furniture store: Full-line furniture stores where furniture is the total business or the single largest category, such as Rooms To Go and other local furniture stores. Also includes single-source networks, such as Ashley Furniture HomeStores and Ethan Allen.

Warehouse club: Includes Sam’s Club, Costco and BJ’s Wholesale Club.

About the survey

The exclusive consumer data is based on the responses of 13,878 U.S. consumers. Casual Living, in partnership with HGTV, surveyed consumers via an online survey linked to HGTV’s Ideas newsletter in April 2008. Because of the large sample size, the survey data can be projected with a margin of error of plus or minus less than 1%.

The sponsor of this presentation, Telescope Casual, had no involvement in collecting, analyzing or reporting the data.

The research was analyzed by Senior Research Specialist Dana French and Director of Market Research Kay Anderson.

Household income
Under $30,000 8%
$30,000 to $49,999 18%
$50,000 to $74,999 27%
$75,000 to $99,999 22%
$100,000 to $149,999 17%
$150,000 or more 8%
Age
Under 25 1%
25-34 8%
35-44 20%
45-54 36%
55-64 27%
65 and over 8%


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