Industry rattled as Amazon launches furniture brands
November 7, 2017 | 3:45 pm CST
SEATTLE - Retail behemoth Amazon has launched its first furniture brands - and many leading furniture companies are feeling it.
Amidst news of the launch, the stocks of many leading furniture firms are down. Some of those companies include:
Wayfair (down 6.3 percent), Restoration Hardware (down 3.7 percent), Bed Bath & Beyond (down 4.5 percent), Kirkland's (down 5.1 percent, RH (down 3.7 percent), Pier 1 Imports (down 1.5 percent), Williams Sonoma (down 4.6 percent), Bassett Furniture (down 1.8 percent), La-Z-Boy (down 1.7 percent), Hooker Furniture (down 3.4 percent), Stanley Furniture (down 2.9 percent), and Ethan Allen (down 3.4 percent).
One of Amazon's new brands is Rivet: a mid-century, modern living room furniture collection offering sofas, chairs, and other decor, and the other new brand is Stone & Beam: a higher-priced, transitional, and modern living room furniture collection. Each brand features hundreds of pieces, and items designated as 'Prime' will feature free shipping. Amazon will also offer 30-day free returns for both brands and Rivet items will carry a one-year limited manufacturer warranty. Stone & Beam will offer a three-year limited warranty on furniture.
Amazon told Furniture Today that the items would be manufactured "in various locations" and that it was collaborating with other manufacturers.
Furniture is one the fastest-growing retail categories on Amazon, according to a report by Nathan Rigby for One Click Retail.
Total U.S. furniture sales were $70 billion in 2016, according to One Click Retail. Amazon furniture sales were $2.3 billion in 2016, and year-to-date furniture sales for Amazon are up 50 percent in 2017.
In May, Amazon decided to venture more deeply into sales of bulkier non-traditional e-commerce items—including furniture, power tools, and home appliances.
In June,  the e-commerce giant formally announced plans for a new fulfillment center in Jefferson, Georgia. Amazon said the 850,000 sq.ft. facility will help it move more deeply into furniture and other large items.
When opened, the facility will create 1,000 new full-time jobs. The company currently has more than 1,500 full-time employees at its existing facilities in the state. A warehouse currently operating in Jefferson describes positions as paying up to $11.50 per hour.
Also in June, Ashley Furniture announced its intent to compete with Amazon and other e-commerce giants, and broke ground on a $30 million, 500,000-square-foot expansion in its hometown.
After a drop in net income, furniture manufacturer La-Z-Boy is considering selling furniture on Amazon.


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Robert Dalheim

Robert Dalheim is an editor at the Woodworking Network. Along with publishing online news articles, he writes feature stories for the FDMC print publication. He can be reached at [email protected]