From Home Furnishing Business
What Sells: Did You Do Your Home Work?
As today’s labor force continues to shift toward working remotely, the need for home office furniture continues to trend upward. This drive is buoyed by proven benefits like increased productivity, reduced costs for both employers and employees, and even an environmental boost by decreasing emissions! With all this, it is no small wonder that each year there are more companies joining the work-from-home throng.
The concept of the home office has evolved alongside technology at an increasing rate. Advancements in technology have been added to desks themselves with the popularity of adjustable height desks on the rise. Alongside this, multiport charging stations and lighting can also be found in many of today’s desk solutions. To get to the heart of the conversation, we need to know what today’s consumer wants and needs are for their next home office purchases. After all, their need for these pieces may be just around the corner. According to Remote.co, a resource for businesses exploring the possibility of remote work, 73% of the workforce will be remote workers by 2028 as Millennials and Gen-Z flood the market.
Manufactures aware of this shift have weighed in with their foresight. “The concept of a home office continues to evolve as technology gets more minimalistic, says Stefanie Lucas, Bassett Furniture’s chief merchandising officer. “We find the key to consumers is the ability to be flexible for whatever room you may need. Building your own idea of a home office, rather than to be locked into a heavy, masculine look, is what we believe to be trending today.”
With open floor plans and more work from home, consumers are integrating their spaces for multi-use. Consumer research conducted by FurnitureCore, Inc., the research arm of Home Furnishings Business, showed that of consumers who recently purchased home office furniture, 69.77% define their home office space by the activity performed there while only 30.23% define it by the type of furniture in the room. The same research found that 46.51% of consumers define the primary use of the home office as an area to work when not in a regular office, followed by 39.53% as an area for home and family business, and 13.95% as a space for home-based business.
Lisa Cody, vice president of marketing at Twin Star Home, echoes these findings saying, “Thanks to the fact that more and more companies have embraced the concept of employees working remotely and the impact that is having on products and services that cater to consumers who work from their kitchen or family room, the future of the home office category is very bright.” Looking back on the FurnitureCore industry model, of consumers polled on their home office location, 60.47% reported the home office being in a dedicated space with 39.53% reporting it to be in shared space. We can expect this number to continue to shift along with open floor plans, more minimalistic technology, and increased remote workers.
When working from home, the entertainment area is close at hand if not already in the same room. Just as with home offices, technology shapes this category at accelerated rates. And it’s not just technology, but how the consumer accesses their entertainment today — think streaming services like Netflix or Hulu. Just as we faded away from VHS into DVDs in the early 2000s, we are fading away from DVDs into these services and similar offerings (Disney has recently released its own much anticipated streaming service, Disney+). These services have offered flexibility to consumers. As Tonja Morrison, director of marketing at Hancock & Moore pointed out, “With so many streaming services online, families can go to the movies whenever they like – in their home theater.”
Based on the same FurnitureCore industry model exploring consumer purchases in the home entertainment category, we find that 91.76% of consumers have their entertainment center in their living room or family room! Families certainly have a designated, central location to enjoy their favorite movies and shows together. Other locations included the bedroom at 8.25% and ‘other’ was indicated by 3.09%
Central to the entertainment center is of course the television. How the consumer wishes to display their television impacts the type of entertainment center they will purchase. Largely, consumers wish to place their TV on top of a console with media storage (53.61%) followed by wall mounted TVs (36.08%). As consumers make the switch to consolidated, minimalistic technology, we can expect wall mounted options to rise. Just as important is size of screen. 47.42% of consumers reported that their next TV purchase within a year would be a screen 55” or larger! 25.77% will purchase a screen 37”-52”, and 6.18% will purchase a screen 36” or smaller. The remaining 20.62% do not plan a purchase over the course of a year. Obviously these consumers will be looking at sizable display units to match. Read on to discover popular entertainment center displays and home office solutions that are sure to move off of your retail sales floor.