Surrey Spending Pattern Series: Growing Retail Market Opportunities in Furniture & Décor

People living in Surrey aren’t shy about getting out their wallets. Compared to the rest of British Columbia, residents of Surrey spend significantly more than average when it comes to dining out, shopping for furniture and décor, buying groceries, and purchasing apparel.

Compared to the rest of British Columbia, residents of Surrey spend significantly more than average when it comes to dining out, shopping for furniture and décor, buying groceries, and purchasing apparel.

New data from a survey commissioned by the City of Surrey in November 2021 shows spending in several retail categories is above the BC average by more than 20%. The city’s affordable housing means households have more discretionary income – and the people of Surrey are not afraid to spend it.

While the majority of spending takes place within Surrey city limits, opportunity exists to service the consumer demand that is being spent outside of Surrey – $83 million, to be exact. Of course, people shop elsewhere when they can't find what they want close to home, but consumer demands and the gaps in what’s available represent a burgeoning opportunity for a diverse array of retail businesses of all sizes.

As of April 2021, 210,000 square feet of retail space was available in high-traffic locations including Surrey City Centre, Guildford, and South Surrey for businesses looking to locate in a prime location that’s growing and thriving. The town centres with the lowest retailer-to-resident ratios are Fleetwood, Cloverdale, and Newton. A more detailed breakdown of useful data related to Surrey’s town centres is available, and we would be happy to assist retailers identify their ideal locations.

Residents shared in the survey the kinds of businesses they hope to see pop up in the future, and the results were eye-opening. The survey results gave us a good sense of what brands and types of retailers are appealing to Surrey residents and what's lacking in the current retail landscape. Over the next few weeks, we’ll be exploring these insights, starting with the #1 category where Surrey residents are outspending the BC average: furniture & décor. 

Spending on furniture & décor

Surrey residents spend nearly $101 million on furniture and décor (including appliances) each month – an average of $503 per household. That’s a whopping 93% more than the average BC household. Where there are a lot of new homes and an influx of new residents to an area, there is a flurry of home furnishing shopping, which is a key factor in these exceptionally high figures. The higher spending is most likely due to the fact that our survey took place during the pandemic, a time when higher disposable income provided opportunity for many to upsize or refurnish their homes, as well as buy more expensive gifts in anticipation of the holiday season.

People spent the most money decking out their homes in Guildford, South Surrey, and City Centre – not surprisingly, these locations also have a high volume of real estate transactions. There are lots of people moving in and setting up new dwellings – many of them young professionals and new families in their first or second homes. The majority of households (51%) live in single-detached houses or townhouses, meaning they have more square footage to furnish.

However, with 24% of residents’ spending on home furnishings flowing outside Surrey (not including online purchases), there is significant opportunity for retailers to capture the market share that’s going elsewhere – $24 million worth.

Residents we surveyed were specific about the types of home furnishing stores they want to see more of. Larger retailers like Bed, Bath & Beyond, HomeSense, Crate & Barrel, Pottery Barn, IKEA, The Bay, and Williams Sonoma came out on top.

What's next?

Stay tuned over the coming weeks for insights on restaurants and dining, as well as furniture and décor. We will also be doing more consumer insights surveys in the future to learn as much as possible to help businesses thrive. Is there something else you want to know more about in our reports? Let us know!

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