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From Vintage to Modern: Furniture Market Outlook

Consumer Goods and Retail | May, 2023

Furniture is a quintessential part of any living space, which adds aesthetics, defines standard, and enhances functionality. Rapid urbanization and commercialization along with growing hospitality sector are boosting the adoption of furniture. To accommodate the ever-evolving demands of the consumers, brands are introducing new and different types of furniture. From vintage to smart furniture, consumers have a wide variety of options for choosing pieces as per their preferences available at retails and eCommerce platforms. Rise in consumer spending, growing hospitality sector and rise in government initiatives to provide accommodation are some of the primary factors adding to the growth of furniture market.

Here are some of the trends dominating the global furniture industry.

Home-Office Furniture Becomes Mainstream

The market for home office furniture is expanding due to consumer demand for adaptable and multifunctional items that are also portable and readily fit in tiny areas. Rising trend of work from home fuelled by the pandemic is significantly adding to the adoption of home-office furniture as consumers desire convenience and enhanced functionality to boost their productivity at home. According to a furniture rental company Fabrento, the work from home furniture segment registered a 200% growth during the pandemic. Students or working employees that spend most of their time at work are readily investing in adopting quality furniture, which provide their bodies the best support and relives them from aches and pains associated with uncomfortable furniture. Besides, quality and ergonomic furniture is found to have a direct impact on the productivity of employees and business professionals while uncomfortable workstations make people take more breaks and work at a slower pace. Moreover, creating a dedicated workspace at home with proper home-office furniture lift one’s mood and builds the feel of an actual office environment. Moreover, home office furniture facilitates online meeting and lectures, reading, writing, keeping files and other documents in an organized manner. Increasing number of freelance professionals and emergence of home office furniture incorporated with technical advancements are expected to drive the growth of work from home furniture market in the coming years.

According to TechSci Research report on “United States Work From Home Furniture Market By Type (Chair, Desk, Cabinet, Ottoman, Pouffe, and Others (Stool, Sofa, Recliner, etc.)), By Material (Wood, Plastic, Metal, and Others (Leather, Glass, etc.), By Distribution Channel (Furniture Outlets, Institutional Sales, Online, Others (Supermarket/Hypermarket, etc.)), By Region, Competition, Forecast & Opportunities, 2016-2026”, the United States work from home furniture market is expected to register growth at a significant rate. The market growth can be attributed to the rising work from home trend and growing personal disposable income.

Eco-friendly Furniture Gains Popularity

Fast furniture has become ubiquitous but once they are sent to landfills, they decompose and emit gases such as methane and carbon dioxide, which contribute to climate change. Besides, furniture made from plastic materials are no less than a burden to the environment. Enhanced focus towards sustainability has led to the growing use of eco-friendly materials for furniture. Consumers are gravitating towards handmade and sustainable furniture that exhibits a natural element to the room’s décor. For instance, rattan furniture is surging in demand as this tree-climbing vine is environment friendly and durable. Retailers and manufacturers alike are using the material in ever-more inventive ways, creating beautiful designs in shapes and structures that would be impossible to make from wood. As millennials and Gen Zs are entering their prime spending years, the adoption of sustainable furniture is expected to boom since they are more eco-conscious and aware of the choices that can affect environment.

If consumers' expectations for sustainability and quality are met, they are more likely to spend extra for furniture and household items. For many who want to lessen their ecological footprint and pass down high-quality furniture to children and grandkids, buying new items year after year from rapid furniture merchants has lost its appeal. As going green is on the rise, brands are adopting materials and processes that make use of renewable raw materials and recycled materials such as PET bottles or old wood fibres. For instance, a furniture brand Sabai offers furniture made from recycled and natural fabrics, which are ethically produced in the USA. Another brand, The Essential Sofa uses recycled velvet or upcycled polyester and FSC-certified wood, derived from locally sourced maple. Emerging number of choices for sustainable furniture is also adding to the growth of furniture market.

Vintage Furniture Becomes the Hottest Décor Trend

As young generations are becoming homeowners, they are looking for items that cannot be found everywhere, which is increasing the demand for vintage or antique home furnishings.  Not only the vintage furniture is kinder to the planet, but these are better made and brings character and uniqueness to a room. Younger collectors are increasingly discovering the furniture and décor that somewhat older people recall from their childhood as they were going out of style is refreshingly unique and full of character. The economy has a role in this to some extent as well. Antiques are now more readily available and less appealing than newly created items that are frequently seen in design magazines and in your friends' houses. They are also frequently less expensive. Popular online retailers of pre-owned furniture from the past few decades report excellent sales. Five times as much money was made by Kaiyo in 2021 as it was in 2019. When compared to 2019, searches on Etsy for vintage or antique couches climbed by 126% in 2021. For consumers who care about the environment, recycling old furniture makes sense. Statistics from the Environmental Protection Agency show that trash from furniture and home goods increased from 2.2 million tonnes in 1960 to 12.1 million tonnes in 2018. According to the EPA, 80.1% of the waste that was dumped ended up in landfills or disposal facilities. Vintage furniture allows environmentally conscious consumers to lower their carbon footprint while also helping local, independent companies as people shop more and more ethically.

DIY Furniture Market Gains Prominence

Consumers are increasingly preferring DIY furniture over purchasing them from a store due to a variety of reasons such as saving money, adding creativity into the living space, or as a hobby. DIY furniture can be made from a wide range of materials, including wood, bamboo, recycled plastic, metal, repurposed items, etc. With the availability of online tutorials, guides, and tools, creating DIY furniture has become convenient. People want to explore their creative sides and add a personal touch to the aesthetics of the house and hence they are gravitating towards DIY furniture. Rising personal disposable income and changing spending power of consumers, especially in developing countries are contributing to the rising adoption of DIY furniture. DIY furniture with modular designs that are simple to put together, take apart, and rearrange to suit various requirements and places are growing in popularity. Due to its flat-pack style and ability to be created and supplied at a reduced cost, DIY furniture is frequently more economical than traditional furniture. DIY furniture is simple to buy online or in-store, and it can be put together at home, giving customers a practical and time-saving choice. Manufacturers and merchants of DIY furniture now have a great chance to sell their goods online and reach a larger audience, owing to the expansion of e-commerce. There is an increasing market for DIY furniture that has numerous uses and provides space-saving solutions as more people live in fewer places. IKEA, Slicethinner, and Ashley Furniture are just a few of the businesses in the fiercely competitive DIY furniture market that provide a variety of goods and services to meet the requirements and tastes of consumers. However, local players offering DIY furniture at low prices compared to western brands are also growing, which could contribute significantly to the overall growth of the furniture market.

Rising Adoption of Multifunctional or Folding Furniture

Nowadays, a lot of consumers are choosing furnishings that enhance the functionality of the place. Multipurpose furniture can cut down on the number of furnishings needed to furnish a home, which is advantageous for consumers given the rising expense of living. The combination of portability, light weight, and ample storage space has generated interest among the masses. In a small flat or crowded home, multifunctional furniture serves many purposes might be quite useful. Saving money and maximising space may both be accomplished with a convertible bed that also functions as a sofa. People are choosing foldable or multipurpose furniture that takes up less room combined with modern designs that match the home's décor as a result of restricted space, particularly in metro areas. As the cost of living is increasing in metro cities and apartments are becoming more compact, shift towards multifunctional furniture is rational. Besides, rapid urbanization and upliftment of the population’s living standard in Asian countries are also driving the demand for space-efficient and affordable furniture, significantly propelling the adoption of multifunctional furniture.

According to TechSci Research report on “India Folding Furniture Market By Type Product (Chairs, Tables, Sofas, and Beds), By End User (Residential, Commercial), By Distribution Channel (Furniture Retail Outlets, Supermarket & Hypermarket, Home Décor Shops, Dealers/Agents, Others (Wholesales, Distributors,), By Region, Competition Forecast and Opportunities, 2018-2028”, India folding furniture market is expected to grow at a formidable rate during the forecast period. The market growth can be attributed to the reducing size of the houses and increasing population in the country.

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