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August 29, 2023 4 min read

Furnishing your home? Undecided on whether to buy from an independent or a commercial furniture store? 

In this blog, we will explore the pros and cons of both options, considering factors such as quality, customisation, price, customer service, and overall experience. 

By providing insights on independent and commercial stores, we aim to guide you in making an informed decision that aligns with your needs and preferences.

What Is An Independent Furniture Store?

independent furniture store

Independent furniture stores typically operate within a single outlet or a small chain of stores, usually at most three.

Unlike large corporate commercial stores, independent furniture stores are owned by one individual, or a small group such as a family.

This ownership structure often translates into a more personalised and intimate shopping experience, which appeals to many customers.

The owners of small furniture stores are usually passionate about their craft and have a vested interest in ensuring customer satisfaction. They take pride in curating a carefully selected furniture collection and prioritise quality over mass production.

Additionally, being independent makes these stores more flexible and responsive to customer needs, often offering customisation options and personalised recommendations.

What Is a Commercial Furniture Store?

what is a commercial independent store

Commercial stores are part of a group of retail locations that are planned, developed, and managed as a unit.

Unlike independent stores, commercial companies own multiple stores, allowing them to leverage their scale and reach. These stores often have a more comprehensive selection of furniture options, catering to various styles, budgets, and preferences.

With their extensive resources and established supply chains, commercial stores can offer competitive prices, promotions, and discounts, making them popular amongst customers seeking a bargain.

Benefits Of Shopping With An Independent Furniture Store

benefits of shopping with independent furniture store

If you're still deciding whether to source your home furnishings from an independent shop, consider the advantages of shopping at independent furniture stores, some of which we have briefly mentioned.

Thorough Customer Service

The owners of independent stores often prioritise providing excellent customer service. They tend to be passionate about what they offer so they can provide expert product knowledge. Equally, with having a smaller customer base, they can dedicate more time and attention to each individual, ensuring a more personalised shopping experience.

High-Quality Products

Independent furniture stores tend to focus on quality rather than mass production. With private ownership, the owners are vested in maintaining the store's reputation and customer satisfaction. They often handpick their inventory, curating a collection of furniture that exhibits craftsmanship and durability. As a result, you can expect higher-quality products that can last.

Unique Finds

You are more likely to find a piece of furniture that is one of a kind in an independent store than if you were shopping at a commercial furniture shop. Furthermore, independent stores can often source bespoke, made-to-order furniture, which is popular amongst customers wanting unique products tailored for their homes.

Supporting A Small Business

If you shop at an independent store, your money goes directly to supporting a smaller, local business. You will contribute to the growth and sustainability of the local economy, fostering entrepreneurship and community development.

Drawbacks Of Shopping With An Independent Furniture Store

drawbacks of shopping with independent furniture store

While there are plenty of advantages to shopping at independent furniture stores, it's essential to consider some potential drawbacks so that you are fully informed before you start building your furniture collection.

Higher Prices

Due to the focus on quality and the smaller scale of operations, independent stores may have higher price points than commercial stores. Their products' meticulous selection and craftsmanship often come with a premium cost. It's essential to be prepared for potentially higher prices when browsing furniture from independent stores.

Limited Selection

Independent stores typically have a more curated furniture collection than commercial stores. While this can be advantageous in terms of quality, it may also mean a narrower range of options, which won't suit you if you're after diversity.

Benefits Of Shopping With A Commercial Furniture Store

benefits of shopping with commercial furniture store

There are several benefits to shopping at a commercial furniture store, which you should be aware of.

Wide Range of Products

Commercial stores often offer a vast selection of furniture options, catering to various styles, budgets, and preferences. With a larger inventory, you have more choices to find furniture that matches your specific needs and tastes.

Competitive Pricing

Due to their scale and buying power, commercial stores can offer more competitive prices than independent stores. They may have access to bulk discounts, promotional offers, and economies of scale, allowing them to pass on savings to customers.

Multiple Locations

Commercial stores typically have multiple locations, providing convenience and accessibility. This means you can visit different stores within the same chain, i.e. when you’re on holiday, and have the opportunity to compare prices and products in person.

Drawbacks Of Shopping With A Commercial Furniture Store

drawbacks of shopping with commercial furniture store

As with independent furniture shops, there are drawbacks to commercial stores, some of which we have detailed below.

Imported Products

Commercial stores often source their furniture from various manufacturers and suppliers, which can result in a higher proportion of imported products. While this allows for a broader selection, it may raise concerns about the quality and sustainability of the materials used and potential ethical considerations in the manufacturing process.

Limited Customisation

Commercial stores generally offer pre-designed furniture pieces with limited customisation options. If you have specific design preferences or require furniture tailored to your unique requirements, independent stores may provide more flexibility in terms of customisation.

Standardised Experience

Commercial stores may provide a more standardised shopping experience due to their larger scale and multiple locations. While this can be efficient and convenient, it may lack the personal touch and individualised attention that independent stores often provide. The staff at commercial stores may also be less passionate about their products or experts in the furniture industry.

Why Do Our Customers Choose Hemming & Wills?

If you’ve decided after reading this blog that you would like high-quality, bespoke furniture for your home, consider shopping at Hemming & Wills.

Our customers love what we offer because our furniture is practical, aesthetically pleasing, and sustainable, made from eco-friendly materials.

We offer a combination of unique yet affordable pieces from our online furniture store.

Not only will you receive the best independent furniture by shopping at Hemming & Wills, but you’ll also acquire reclaimed and sustainable pieces that will turn your home into an environmentally friendly haven.

Reclaimed wooden furniture has become increasingly popular amongst interior designers, so get on board with the trend to ensure your home is brimming with style while reducing your carbon footprint.

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