Furniture groups take their show on the e-commerce road

Furniture chains of North America have united — in the digital space, that is — in the form of a re-launch of Furniture.com.

Described as a “unique online shopping experience powered by the merchandising and service capabilities of top brick-and-mortar furniture chains,” the partnership includes RoomsToGo, Schottenstein Stores and Leon’s Furniture of Canada.

The retailers will provide sourcing, warehousing and delivery capabilities for the e-commerce site, planned to be re-launched later this year.

“Furniture has been called the last remaining $1 billion e-commerce opportunity,” said Carl Prindle, president and CEO of Furniture.com. “Capturing this complex opportunity requires a ‘wow’ customer experience that can only be delivered by marrying leading technology with the scale and expertise of world-class furniture chains. We’re excited to bring together the best in the business and make this a reality.”

Jay Schottenstein, head of Schottenstein Stores, said that this new partnership “enables e-commerce innovation and collaboration between the largest furniture retailers in North America.” He added that furniture’s migration online reminds him of another industry -- shoes -- where he owns leading offline and online retailer DSW. “For years, we were told no one would buy shoes online,” said Schottenstein. ”It took the right model to catalyze the online shoe industry. Furniture.com is that catalyzing model for furniture.”

The site uses e-commerce technology from Blueport Commerce, an e-commerce solution for the furniture industry.