Wednesday, November 23, 2011
Another furniture store bites the dust in Kuwait
Freedom Furniture at 360 is closing for good. I WISH I had known earlier because I love their furniture and they had some great deals. I went there yesterday to buy a tablecloth and that's about all that's left there (150x200 black or white linen table cloths are 6kd each]). There are a few odd tables, chairs, and I think 2 sofa sets and some small items. Everything has been reduced by 75%. They have a lovely set of 6 wicker-style dining chairs with arms selling for 20kd each (they only have 6 - I need 10).
It is a shame because I really liked their items. But alas, it seems that the Kuwaiti norm of marking everything up by X-hundred percent got the best of them: Their items were consistently overpriced. I don't think they ever advertised either and were located in a kind of out-of-the-way place in the basement of 360 near Geant. I rarely saw other customers
I don't understand why furniture stores just don't get it: good quality at good prices equals return customers. Look at Ikea (okay, quality is kind questionable, but overall it is okay): They've survived in the market for years and have expanded. Banta, with a similar business model, is doing well (but I don't find their furniture comfortable - whereas Ikea furniture is).
There are certain furniture stores in Kuwait that mark their items waaaaay above cost and then expect customers 1) not to notice and 2) to continue to shop there. They might get one or two hits from the same customer, but they won't be repeat customers (loyalty is a 2 way street). (... and alas, the big spending days of CSA and the likes are gone.)
And hey, you can copy just about anything by bringing pictures and fabric to any of the furniture maker dudes in Dajeej - at 1/4 of the price of retail. (Which is why most furniture shops in Kuwait don't allow photography. Nice try.)
Back to the point of my story: there is no longer Freedom in Kuwait....
(But we already knew that.)