A recent survey on furniture shopping in Turkey shows that smaller stores are preferred to shopping malls and that furniture selection is carried out by couples more often than the wives alone.

In a study titled “2007 Shopping Habits” conducted by KGM Research, 212,000 homeowners across Turkey were asked about their shopping habits. Forty-four percent said they decide on furniture purchases with their spouse, while 32 percent said their wife decides alone.

While 42 percent of homeowners prefer to go directly to stores they’ve made purchases from in the past, 27 percent prefer to visit different stores before making a purchase. According to the study, people with low socioeconomic status mostly prefer stores they’ve made purchases from before.

Upon deciding on furniture, the research showed that 25.4 percent of their decision was based on the price and 24.3 percent was based on product quality.

In evaluating the places homeowners like to buy furniture from, the two most-preferred places are stores and handmade furniture shops. Sixty-eight percent of homeowners prefer shopping from stores or authorized dealers, 15 percent from furniture stores and 9 percent like to order from furniture-making shops. The survey showed a connection between higher socioeconomic status and a preference for handmade furniture. While 71 percent of homeowners prefer to shop from districts filled with furniture shops, only 14 percent prefer to shop for furniture at malls. In the 2007 home furniture category, 8.9 percent said they were planning on buying a living room set and 8.4 percent said a sofa set. As for payment methods, 53 percent said long-term installment methods and 22 percent wanted to trade in their old furniture for store credit or new furniture.

According to the survey, while most homeowners prefer a statement with a promise to pay off their bill, younger homeowners or those with higher socioeconomic status preferred to pay in monthly installments.

KGM Research Retail Measurement and Research Coordinator Renan Burduroðlu said Turkey’s furniture industry is worth about $3.5 million and that competition has increased with the entry of the handmade furniture market. Noting that the entry of foreign brands has fostered the growth of selective buyers, Burduroðlu said newlyweds and homeowners are the biggest contributors to this industry.