For any furniture manufacturer, dealing with the ever-changing demands of a global pandemic is challenging enough, but for sustained growth, it’s not enough. Predicting your position, tailoring your strategic plan and future-proofing your business is crucial, but how can you do that when the future is coming at you in weeks, rather than years?
The answer could lie with the high-tech companies, because their growth is intrinsically linked to our interiors.
Old doors close, whilst new ones open
Coronavirus hasn’t changed society, it’s accelerated changes already on the cards, and it’s done so at breakneck speed. Almost overnight, we switched from face-to-face, to online. Old and inflexible thinking about where, when, and how we work, shop, educate and socialise – all jettisoned. And with the seismic shift to online, we saw a decade of eCommerce growth in weeks.
And behind the scenes, with the focus on the high-tech industry in transforming our lives, the home improvement industry quietly experienced a boom, and the property market got lively.
A working progress
It’s not so surprising. Academics at Cardiff and Southampton universities reported that 90% of workers would like to continue working from home in some form. And with zoom calls transforming communication, where we are when we make those calls became really important.
The demand for multi-functional and flexible living spaces may have begun as a design trend, but it’s been catapulted to the top of the agenda by a global pandemic. With a shift in working practices, we can anticipate demand for kitchen, bedroom, living, and office furniture that adapts to our changing needs.
Kitchen, living and bedroom furniture overlap in holistic and multipurpose design. A shift in thinking opens the door to innovative and individualised designs.
And here lies the bigger picture. Our homes shifted from the place to which we return, to the hub of every aspect of our lives. It’s clear that when given the opportunity to improve our home environment, we take it. This makes sense, moving to safer locations, lifestyle choices, working from home, less frivolous spending, investing the money saved on holidays into improved home environments.
This is the societal shift that creates real opportunity for manufacturers and designers.
A new report by UK merchant payment provider, Dojo, part of the Paymentsense brand, reveals home furnishings sales in the pandemic soared by 458%, as the public clamoured to turn homes into sanctuaries. ONS figures show the time Brits dedicated to home improvements during the UK’s first lockdown increased by 147%. Add to this, the latest HM Land registry data showing average house price increases of 8.5% in the year to Dec 2020.
It’s already clear that our homes will work harder, with adaptable furniture, smart tech, flexible spaces and creative lighting all becoming fundamental to a new way of living. Developers and designers will need to bring their ace game to the table because maximising every square inch will look very different in the future.
High quality mechanisms create an opportunity to include additional desk and table space. With imagination, slide-out, pull-down and pull-out provide real value to forward thinking ranges.
Hard wired for growth
While big corporations like apple may seem unconnected, they are not. Love or hate them, what they do well, is to nail human instinct. These are the businesses that are thriving in the worst of times. They understand the importance of the emotional connection and invest in becoming scrutiny proof.
We need to be thinking 10 years ahead and asking the right questions now.
Do you really understand how your customer is hard-wired? Have you grasped the emotional connection with the home, concerns over air quality, the need for connectivity, to feel safe in the one environment we have control over?
Connectivity in the home is more important than ever, integrated, modular and recessed smart tech solutions allow for uncompromised furniture designs.
Ingenious, aesthetically impressive smart tech-solutions are the way forward in meeting the needs of consumers, who will be looking for furniture that combines innovation with savvy design, The ITAIR combines the natural air filtration of plants with a solution that actively improves air quality.
How are you seen? are you likeable, are you attracting the best talent, do you connect with your customer, are you creating a strong vision of the future?
These are questions that create foundations. Right now, the furniture industry that is centre stage to what is important, spaces that fulfil all of our needs, from the practical to the emotional.
Let’s think people before we think products.
Businesses now overlap in a way we have never seen before, and today’s furniture manufacturers are designing with real purpose, to revolutionise experience. We can’t be certain of the future, but the power to transform the way in which we live is the key component of a new future. Societal change, plus designers, equal innovation. Let’s call these the mechanisms for change.
Now is the time to step back, look at the bigger picture and figure out what these exciting opportunities look like.
We love working with clients to create new ranges and adapt current offerings, so get in touch below, and let’s talk.
Find out why our partners are the ideal fit for forward thinking businesses here: https://www.prestonfurnituresolutions.co.uk/our-partners/
We are pleased as punch that this blog appeared as an article in May’s Furniture News >>> https://lnkd.in/dYk8Z98