Often have local showrooms to display products, but because of the tremendous variety of products and options available, what you want to buy is not always on display.
Not all dealers sell all lines. Generally, they commit to a core group of full-line vendors.
Offer range of services: Space planning and interior design, project management, installation, after-market backup.
Their marketing focus can range from design to asset management to traditional showroom sales, but they all offer a professional hand to hold and the capabilities to work with you from start to finish.
For large projects, using a full-service dealer may be the best bet.
Generally offer less in the way of a design staff and trained furniture sales force
Office products dealers "bread and butter" business is in providing equipment and supplies and rely on maintaining a steady relationship with your business
They often use regional distributors to produce catalogs and provide access to a broad range of commodity products.
Running the gamut between individual "Mom and Pop" stores to big chains and super-stores, most of the furniture you'll see is basic and of the "carry it home" variety.
However, a lot of the big supply companies as well as the associated smaller firms are beginning to get into the higher end of the market, offering services equal to the major full-service dealers combined with massive buying power and in-stock availability.
Their prices are generally competitive.
Concentrate on specific niche markets
Offer their expertise along with a generally greater selection of alternatives and good service
Specialties include: Ergonomics, Lighting, Floor coverings, Electronic and A/V equipment, etc.
A used furniture, refurbisher or remanufacturer's warehouse will yield a constantly changing selection of bargains.
Great deals can be found - not only for small businesses looking for one or two pieces that don't have to match existing furniture - but for medium-size corporations seeking fast delivery, high quality and low impact to their bottom line.
Shop generically, brands tend to be what is on hand. If you can, Buy quality.
If you're not in a hurry and willing to pay the freight, dealers are networked and they can find almost anything, especially in quantity.
Offer the convenience of "at work or home" shopping for special items.
The Contract Furniture Industry still lags behind other businesses partly because consumers are used to the services - delivery, assembly, installation - offered by local dealers. Nevertheless, you will see a number of them among all the types of dealers.
Telecommunications and Computer Retailers have begun to offer furniture selections as well as office supplies along with electronic equipment.
We have included those vendors who have dedicated furniture pages on their websites.
Mass merchandising retailers have jumped on the bandwagon, too, aiming at the home-based business market and tele-commuters
Some stores offer the selection and services of the full service dealer while others offer no frills warehouse shopping at low prices.
Several promote imported and high-style items not available in typical dealerships.
NOTE: Unless they provide considerable online content, these retailers are generally not listed. However, for certain commodity products, they should not be overlooked for the savings they offer.