Ready-To-Assemble (RTA) furniture was created to solve a fundamental problem in shipping furniture: the relatively high cost of shipping the products compared to the low cost of actually producing them. All the pieces of the product are shipped in a very compact box with detailed instructions on how to assemble the unit. Costs are saved by the assembly not being performed in the factory and by greatly reduced volumes for shipping and storage by both distributors and retailers.

The cost of transporting and storing furniture is minimized by retailing it as a flat pack. A flatter product can be easily stored and the cost of transport is lower overall as more items can be moved in the same space occupied by the assembled product. The cost of labor can also be reduced as there is no need for workers to assemble the product before it is sold.