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WHERE EXACTLY DO HOTELS GET THEIR FURNITURE & FIXTURES FROM?

This question gets asked around a lot. And it’s no surprise that you’ve landed here with this same question. If a question as specific as this pops up in your head often, you’re likely planning to open a hotel either in the near future or sometime much later.
Actually, it’s a pretty straightforward question that can pop up for an interior designer, aspiring architects, furniture enthusiasts, decor enthusiasts,s or just a curious person. 

In this post, we will break down all of these aspects to a crumble so you understand just how exactly most hotels, resorts & hospitality businesses source their furniture.

PURCHASING DEPARTMENTS

You see, large hotels especially the 4 star, 5 star and luxury hotel chains tend to have a large requirement of not just furniture, or fixtures but they tend to have a large requirement of pretty much all recurringly used items at the hotel.

This includes furnishings, such as curtains, carpets, doormats, mattresses, bedsheets, linens, bathrobes, towel racks, etc. The list is endless and as you may have guessed, it is not possible for a team dedicated to any other task to take charge of procuring all of these items individually.

That’s where purchasing departments in large hotels come in. These are teams set up precisely to ensure that all sourcing of supplies for the hotel are done at the cheapest cost possible, reliably, and without any quality control issues.

But this still doesn’t answer our question. Where exactly does the furniture come from?

Decision-makers of such large hotels’ do not simply step into a furniture showroom or a retailer and ask for different pieces. It simply won’t make sense for them, from any angle you look at it.

Why?

Because the furniture retailer of showroom owner himself buys his furniture from another manufacturer and then marks the items up. The average hotel almost always requires furniture in large, bulk quantities, and paying margins on such large orders would simply not make any sense for the hotel at all.

Moreover, the hotelier would also have to compromise on the furniture designs as he would be forced to choose from only those items that are made available by the furniture store owner/retailer which is not great deal.

Hotel Lobby Furn

That being said, manufacturers, themselves would be more than happy to directly cater to the furniture requirements by most hotels since the quantities are large enough to justify various fixed costs and transportation costs directly to the hotel as well.

If you think about it, even the average hotel has at least 10-15 rooms, the average going price of furniture/per hotel room in a country like India is about 1 lac per room. So for small hotels themselves, the order size is justifiable enough for manufacturing companies to put these into production specifically for a single requirement as well.

This is a win-win situation for both parties as the supplying manufacturers can earn a higher margin & the buyer will still get his furniture at a lower cost. These simple principles of economics have helped the hospitality furniture industry thrive.

This is not an arrangement that is just common for hotels, furniture for resorts and retreats, guest houses, tented lodges, safari camps etc are all sourced in this way

PURCHASING DEPARTMENTS

However, in most cases, it’s not just any furniture manufacturer who will fulfill this requirement. Furniture manufacturers for hospitality businesses need to be slightly different from standard retail manufacturers or exports because of the demanding nature of hospitality designs and quality standards.

But like FurnitureRoots, a hospitality furniture specialist that also takes care of global hotel furniture requirements, there will certainly be an equivalent supplier for most locations.

USED HOTEL FURNITURE LIQUIDATORS & VENDORS

The hospitality business can be quite a competitive one, apart from tumbling prices, the industry is plagued with an ever-increasing & stiffer competition which means razor-thin margins and aggressive customer acquisition. Add the mounting levels of expenses and it’s not difficult to see why more than 75% of hotels in India were on the verge of a shutdown in the aftermath of COVID. See full article by TOI here

In fact, even without the pandemic, the churn rate or the success rate of most hotels & resorts is rather low. After shutting shop, the fixtures, fittings & all supplies are either auctioned away or given to a liquidator.

These specialized liquidators take possession of different furniture & fixtures and look out for potential hotel owners or hotel entrepreneurs who then source them for their new hotel different locations.

While the can be a good option for a number of hoteliers who are not particular about the look & feel of the furnishings & fittings at their hotel and for hoteliers on a budget, it can be problematic for several reasons.

DISADVANTAGES & CONS OF USED HOTEL FURNITURE

REPLACEMENT FREQUENCY OF OLD FURNITURE

The trouble is that most hotels replace their existing furniture within an average of 6 years anyway, due to wear and tear, poor manufacturer choice, etc. When the second owner of the fixtures and furniture picks these furniture pieces up, it may very well be towards the end of the furniture life which is not a great deal for anyone. 

Carpenter

DETERIORATION IN QUALITY ASPECTS

Ensuring that the furniture is of a special hospitality grade for your hotel is very crucial to prevent it from taking excessive damages or worse, make it lose its shine over long-term which will be very unappealing for hotel guests without your knowledge & is something that most hotel owners don’t ensure at the time of procurement

Deterioriation

COMPROMISING ON FURNITURE DESIGN

By far the biggest of disadvantage a liquidator or used furniture route is the compromise on design. Every hotel, from large luxurious ones to smaller boutique ones is in need of furniture that caters to the original design style. Furniture is a key aspect of it & we believe it should be unique which will not be possible with used hotel furniture

coastal themed lobby resort in Jaipur

As we’ve mentioned previously, for large hotels, hotel chains, and even relatively smaller sized hotels, specialized purchase departments take care of procuring not just the furniture, fittings & equipment but also every other aspect of furnishings like bedding suppliers, lighting, sheets, crockery etc.

These departments are solely tasked with forging relationships with suppliers & manufacturers across the globe to ensure that the best furniture style comes from the best supplier from the globe. And the variations can be quite substantial.

For Instance, furniture in premium solid wood, industrial styles and metal require great craftsmanship and artisan skills, like making furniture using wrought iron are best done in India where the labour costs are cheap, English speaking skills are quite prevalent and risks are low.

For furniture in contemporary and modern styles that require high tech machinery, minimal human intervention, China leads the pack, the prices are quite lucrative but the risks are high and acceptance of English as a language is low.

A few countries including Vietnam, Indonesia like India make furniture in teakwood and also make furniture in cane or rattan weave & other hard or softwood quite well which is ideal for outdoor furniture use at hotels.

For hotels that are small or even medium-sized, that cannot afford purchasing departments there are specialized agencies that do this for them

CONTACT US TO KNOW MORE

We would love to hear from you so that we can give an accurate description of our hotel furniture products & services and where we can be of help. You may visit this contact us page for any further questions that you have or you can simply fill out to form below & wait for one of our executives to get in touch with you
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