There are few industries that have been more transformed by e-commerce than home goods and furnishings retail. Where once wholesale manufacturers contracted with large distributors and retailers that mostly sold products through massive retail outlets (think Macy’s, Sears and other department stores), today retail is much more fractured.
That fracturing of the market has been a boon to retailers who know how to target their offerings to the right population — and to hire executives who can realize efficiencies in areas like marketing, distribution, warehouse operations and fulfillment.
Today we want to look at this industry and ACCUR’s approach to recruiting executives for it.
Who are the Key Players in Furniture Retail?
To understand how the furniture retail market has changed, it’s important to first identify its major players, including:
- Large E-tailers: Offering super competitive prices, warehouse logistics, and vast selection, Amazon is obviously the major player here but Wayfair is also a strong presence on this market.
- IKEA: this Swedish super-corporation stands in a class of its own, with assemble-it-yourself furniture and quirky names.
- Off-price retail such as T.J. Maxx, HomeGoods and Marshalls.
- Discount retail: Target and even Walmart are dominant players in this space.
- Direct-to-consumer players such as Article, Joybird, AllModern and Casper.
- Brick and mortar retailers: a large category covering everyone from Macy’s to Restoration Hardware to West Elm.
Recruiting for a transformed Furniture Retail
Recruiting for furniture retail involves considerations that touch everything from e-commerce strategy to working with Amazon to warehouse operations and fulfillment. Here are some of the most requested skills we are asked to look for in qualified executive candidates:
- Retail “experience”-building skills
- Hybrid digital/bricks and mortar expertise
- Experience in private equity-back rapid turnaround companies
- Candidates who have experience in traditional furniture retail who can easily segue into working with a DTC startup
- Candidates with Amazon-specific experience
Executive Talent with both Digital and Bricks and Mortar Experience
Many of the DTC players in furniture retail like Joybird and Casper are increasingly going the “experiential” route to create inviting, innovative retail environments that will inspire people to linger and explore. These innovative bricks and mortar experiences are key to not only the conversion of a mostly-online consumer, but also instrumental in creating word-of-mouth recommendations. DTC players are therefore often looking for multi-talented marketing hires.
We are also continually seeing a demand for executives with sophisticated e-commerce know-how. The growth of e-commerce in furniture retail has exploded demand for dedicated e-commerce specialists in content creation, marketing, social media strategy, data analytics and much more.
Strategic Expertise in a Fast-Growing Global Retail Environment
The furniture production, distribution and sales lifecycle is now fully global, and therefore demands seasoned and flexible executive talent in order to continually meet shifting demand.
What we have been seeing in the industry is that since much of what is selling through Wayfair, Target and Walmart is inspired by more upmarket retailers, those massive chains rely on executive talent who can spot emerging trends and be able to oversee their development, manufacture and fulfillment throughout all parts of the product lifecycle.
We also see a lot of demand for warehouse and logistics expertise, which has become an even more sought-after set of skills due to supply chain issues that were dramatically highlighted during the pandemic. Chief Logistics Management Officers, Senior Vice President of Logistics Management and other Logistics Managers who can rapidly shift gears are in extreme demand in 2023 and beyond to oversee critical and related inventory, distribution, and transportation functions.
Finding Top Furniture Retail Executive Talent in 2023
ACCUR Recruiting Services has a dedicated team of professionals that are ready to answer your questions about finding top executive talent for furniture retail. Contact us to discuss your specific situation.
Edouard Thoumyre is a seasoned executive recruiter with over 17 years of experience in executive search, as the Founder and Managing Partner of ACCUR Recruiting Services. Specializing in the Consumer and Luxury Goods industries, he has a proven track record of placing senior level and C-level executives in family, private equity-backed, and Fortune 500 companies in the beauty, wine & spirits, watch & jewelry, home goods, and tobacco industries, among others. Edouard Thoumyre holds a master’s degree in Entrepreneurship from HEC Paris (#1 European Business School, Financial Times rankings) and a master’s degree in industrial engineering from Centrale Lille (a top 10 French engineering school). ACCUR Recruiting Services has been recognized as a Forbes Top 100 executive search firm since 2018.
Edouard Thoumyre and his firm, ACCUR Recruiting Services, have been featured in numerous publications such as WWD, Business Insider, Newsweek, CPG Specialist, Yahoo Finance, Nasdaq.com, Marketplace by NPR, Business of Fashion…