A presidential tradition: Furniture businesses use Presidents’ Day as a time for sale

Corinne Spitzer, a sales associate at Slumberland Furniture, inspects the floor of items that are on sale for Presidents’ Day weekend. A lot of furniture stores sell inventory at a discount price this time of year. (Tony Wittkowski | HP Staff)

Corinne Spitzer, a sales associate at Slumberland Furniture, inspects the floor of items that are on sale for Presidents’ Day weekend. A lot of furniture stores sell inventory at a discount price this time of year. (Tony Wittkowski | HP Staff)

By Tony Wittkowski | Business Reporter | The Herald-Palladium

BENTON TOWNSHIP — No one usually associates Abraham Lincoln with good deals on a recliner.

But that’s not the case for Jim Paul, franchise owner of Slumberland Furniture in Benton Township.

Over the past week leading up to Monday, Paul’s store has been offering sales in his Napier Avenue store in honor of Presidents’ Day.

While he doesn’t know where the association with the patriotic holiday comes from for furniture sales, Paul said he feels it is one of the first holidays of the new year to spend money.

“This is one of six key sales dates of the year,” Paul said. “It comes at a time that has people back out and shopping. December and January are not big sales for furniture. During that time people are focused on clothing and electronics. Presidents’ Day is the next chance for the retail industry to give consumers a reason to come out and shop. It’s the first time for people to come out of hibernation after all their Christmas bills are paid off.”

Historically, the beginning of the year – and Presidents’ Day in particular – has been known to boast sales on home furnishings.

According to American Home Furnishings Alliance, a informational agency that researches topics in relation to furniture retailers, the majority of furniture companies typically release new products in February and August, making those months great times to buy as the stores try to clear out old inventory.

Ken Mach is an interior design consultant and assistant buyer at Schroeder Furniture in St. Joseph. Mach said they draw customers throughout Southwest Michigan and as far away as Northern Indiana.

While Schroeder Furniture doesn’t do anything too out of the ordinary for Presidents’ Day, Mach said they will be holding a La-Z-Boy sale leading up to the holiday.

“I don’t know what really triggers it. We are pretty fortunate we maintain a pretty constant growth every year,” he said. “The holiday certainly gives the dealer an avenue to run promotions through. With La-Z-Boy, that’s a big month for them. They do national advertising and sales runs for a couple of weeks. The other item that sells in February are mattresses. I don’t know why, but they run promotions like no other.”

At Slumberland Furniture, Paul said they will hold its doorbuster sale that takes place over Sunday and Monday. Paul estimated their furniture sales are about 67 percent off the retail price.

He said the next calendar date for furniture sales comes in April, more specifically around Easter, as more residents begin thinking about spring cleaning.

“I was looking back on some of the past Februarys we’ve had and two things stand out to me,” Paul said. “People receive their tax refunds and begin to replenish areas of needs in their lives. Then we see a boost in February, which coincides with Presidents’ Day. Looking at our numbers, we post about 75 percent of our sales in the last half of this month. It shows you how many people come out.”

Contact Tony Wittkowski at twittkowski@TheHP.com or (269) 932-0358. Follow him on Twitter: @tonywittkowski.

(Author’s Note: This article was originally published on Feb. 15, 2016)

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