Did you miss me? We’re back 👋🏻

November update: catching up after a whirlwind of a year

Sam Vlessing
November 4, 2021

Here we go, folks. We’re back in business. It’s been a whirlwind of a year since we all got together to read my monthly cadence of the recliner club. Bit of a recap of what has happened since:

  • Supply chain got flipped turned upside down 🙃
  • Container costs went to the moon 🌗
  • The cost of labor rose 💪
  • There were massive foam shortages 🛢️
  • Demand is at an all time high 🙋‍♀️
  • And ecommerce penetration is deeper than ever 📈

This means that furniture makers across the land are hyper focused on operationalizing and fighting multiple battles on the home front. I’ve heard from endless furniture manufacturers (ranging from $10m to $500m in revenue) that the combination of factors listed above has created a never before seen “perfect storm,” and applying a lot of pressure on management teams, merchandisers, assembly lines, and carriers. Every inch of the value chain has been impacted. And the pressure is real.

For consumers going to physical furniture stores or shopping for couches online, it means one thing: Patience. And lots of it.

Oh My God Wow GIF

The ticker: Very relevant reads 🔥🔥🔥


Knowing where to look is half the battle. Good data and catalog management allows you to audit your merchandise, track pricing, and recognize underperforming skus. But even more importantly, it allows you to minimize time to market by listing net-new sku introductions quickly and recognizing time to value (AKA revenue $$$) faster.

We all know that as a furniture marker, minimizing time to market is the name of the game. Whether it’s turning a container from your overseas factory or minimizing the number of days a finished product sits at your dock before a carrier arrives, it all comes down to time and dollars. Ecommerce in the furniture world is no different.

The quicker you can build powerful listings and make changes to your catalog, the more likely you are to achieve greatness.

In this light — we just launched a ✨brand✨ new feature at Bear called Catalog Status that does just that. If you want me to walk you through it, click here.

For the first time ever, you have complete visibility of your listings.


Here’s my interpretation of how the furniture industry became more bullish on omnichannel than ever before:

  • Pre-pandemic: furniture is bought in stores for the most part
  • During pandemic: furniture is bought online because everything else is closed
  • Post-pandemic: online and in-store can live in harmony 😃

Reality is that BOTH MATTER and consumers want choice. If you support them where they choose to shop, you’ll be successful. As Irv Blumkin of Nebraska Furniture Mart said during his Furniture Hall of Fame induction speech last month in High Point, NC: “Go where your customers are.”


We’ve built a remarkable team here at Bear over the last year and we’re continuing to grow rapidly. We recently had our first annual Bear Summit. Our team made their way to Toronto from across the US and Canada for a couple of days of team building, goal-setting, and alignment ahead of 2022. Check out some summit highlights, right here.


If you like what you saw, join the recliner email club to stay up to date with this kind of stuff, every month. I also choose one lucky subscriber and give them a $45 Snackbox to enjoy 🎉

Thanks for being a free subscriber to The Recliner Club. Hopefully, this has been valuable to you. I am a big believer that knowledge is power and sharing information leads to better results for all. A rising tide floats all boats.

See you next month!

Sam Vlessing
CEO, CommerceBear

*Add me on LinkedIn as I would love to see what you are up to.

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