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Boomers Behind Boom in Furnishings

March 15, 1997|KATHY BRYANT

Orange County home furnishing departments and stores say their sales figures are up and growing.

At Fashion Island Newport Beach, Restoration Hardware is adding 2,000 square feet to accommodate bedroom furniture, and Pottery Barn recently turned its Newport Beach store into a special design studio offering furniture, floor coverings, fabrics and pillows.

Ikea in Tustin offers home furnishings in economical price ranges, as do Cost Plus outlets, among others. Local Robinsons-May and Macy's stores devote thousands of square feet in most of their stores to home furnishings.

Why?

Analysts studying the growth in sales of home furnishings and luxury items point their fingers to baby boomers . . . again. This 40- to 65-year-old group, more than 20 million strong in the U.S., has money to spend.

Marketers are capitalizing on boomers' urge to splurge on home entertaining by advertising chores, such as cooking, as fun. They find that people will spend more money on entertaining at home if it's marketed as a fashionable hobby on the same par as, say, golf.

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