The home furnishings industry generates a high rate of job satisfaction, according to the Strategic Insights second-annual salary survey conducted for Home Accents Today and Furniture Today.
Overall, contentment was highest among retailer participants, with 78% saying they were very or somewhat satisfied with their current position, but those on the manufacturing side were nearly as bullish on their jobs, as 75% gave it similar high marks.
These numbers eclipsed, however, how respondents felt about their compensation package. Unlike the three-quarters who gave a thumbs-up to their jobs in general, only two-thirds felt as strongly about their pay and benefits, with 66% of retailers and 64% of manufacturers being very or somewhat satisfied.
For retailers, this is a slight drop from last’s year survey, which registered compensation package satisfaction at 70%, and a modest increase for suppliers, up two percentage points over last year’s 62%.
Gender also played a role in how people felt about their jobs and pay, the survey showed. While female respondents were still more satisfied than not with their pay and benefits, their numbers were lower than those of their male counterparts.
On the manufacturing side, where 39% of men were very satisfied with their compensation, just 14% of women felt the same. However, nearly half of the female respondents checked the “somewhat satisfied” box, bringing their overall satisfaction levels more in line between men and women on the supplier side.
Similarly, 41% of men in retailing were very satisfied with their compensation vs. 16% of women. But again, more women than men responded as somewhat satisfied: 37% vs. 33%.
In the overall job satisfaction area, 44% of women in retailing and 31% of women in manufacturing gave very satisfied responses vs. half of male retailers and 44% among men in manufacturing.
Though not specifically linked to satisfaction, longevity at the job was highest among retailers with nearly one-third (32%) claiming tenure of 20 years or more with their current employers. The number was about half that (17%) for manufacturers. Overall, 61% of retailers and 45% of manufacturers have been with their company for 10 or more years.
A salary-based position was held by the majority of survey participants in both fields—63% of retailers and 73% of manufacturers. About one-fifth of retailers made $75,000 to $99,999 in 2022, while a similar percentage of manufacturer respondents were in a higher pay bracket—$150,000 to $199,999.
Looking at some specific job titles, CEOs, partners and owners of retail businesses had the widest range of salaries, with 4% claiming less than $50,000 per year up to those making between $2.5 million and $3.9 million. Holders of those same titles among manufacturers reported salaries between the $100,000 and $1 million mark, with 40% falling between $150,000 and $199,999. Those with managers titles, whether on the retail or manufacturing side, saw salaries concentrated below the $200,000 mark, with the majority below $100,000.
More retailers (41%) than manufacturers (32%) said their company doesn’t have a process in place for yearly pay increases. However, these percentages are down from last year’s survey by three and two percentage points, respectively.
Despite the ongoing news about rising inflation and its adverse impact on household spending, the majority of respondents (61% among retailers and 65% among manufacturers) said their companies didn’t make an accommodation for inflation during 2022. For those who did see a response, 22% of retailers and 11% of manufacturers received a higher-than-average wage increase, while 10% of retail participants and 11% on the supplier side were given a cost-of-living increase to mirror the spike in inflation.
Looking at benefits, companies continue to offer health insurance, life insurance, company-matched 401(k) plans and year-end bonuses, according to a majority of poll takers, but they also are presenting other less-traditional perks such as professional development (26% of retailers, 22% of manufacturers); unlimited paid time off (11% and 4%, respectively) and paid sabbatical (3% and 2%). According to results from the recent SHRM Employee Benefits Survey, nationally 8% of employers now offer paid open or unlimited time off.
Strategic Insights’ exclusive home furnishings industry salary survey was fielded in March and April 2023 and is based on responses from more than 370 respondents among Home Accents Today and Furniture Today readers. This included almost 160 furniture, bedding and home accents manufacturers and 215 retailers representing full-line, specialty and manufacturer-branded furniture stores; online and outdoor retailers; traditional department stores; and bedding and home accents stores. Rounding may cause some charts to total more or less than 100%. Because of the sample size, the findings contained in this report are qualitative in nature and should be considered descriptive rather than explanatory.
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