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How appliance, furniture sellers can weather inflation

  • July 26, 2022

As retail sales slow from pandemic highs amid rising inflation, fuel prices and continued supply chain congestion, Deliveright co-founder and CEO Doug Ladden still sees opportunity for sellers of heavy goods such as furniture and appliances.

“What we’ve been seeing is volume is lighter than it was six months ago. I don’t think that is surprising,” Ladden told Modern Shipper. “Within e-commerce we’ve seen some retailers go out of business, we’ve seen some retailers slow down and we’ve seen some retailers grow steadily and grow market share.”

Ladden said an analysis of Deliveright’s top 10 customers showed most are still growing.

“They are adapting to this market,” he said. “There are other companies where it just seems like they haven’t figured out the secret sauce.”

Deliveright provides last-mile logistics technology for heavy goods, with a primary focus at this point on furniture. Its Grasshopper technology integrates with both warehouse management systems and transportation management systems. The solution is cloud-based and focuses on capacity optimization, allowing brands and delivery partners to maximize space inside vehicles.

Warning signs

The Commerce Department said overall retail sales rose in June 1%, but that is not adjusted for inflation. The sales volumes likely declined in June. Furniture and home furnishing stores posted a 1.4% increase in June over May and were up 4.6% over June 2021. On a six-month basis, the category is up 2.9% over the first six months of 2021, the Commerce Department said in its latest report.

In Deliveright’s core demographic, though, the situation could get worse. In its May housing market report, the Commerce Department said new home sales rose 10.7 percentage points over April, which saw the market drop 16.6% on a month-over-month basis. It was the lowest sales level since April 2020. Mark Zandi, chief economist at

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