It is for everyone out there to see and nobody is basically unaware of the fact that residential brands are slowly but surely becoming the first choice for contract furniture for specifiers who are rapidly ignoring contract furniture and opting for residential brands such as Crate & Barrel, CB2, West Elm etc. Now, the matter of concern is to decide is this movement helpful or catastrophic to our industry. Let us analyze through a few facts. |
What actually is the cause behind this movement?
Modernization has had many effects on modern work places, both good and bad. But the most impactful effect has been the gradual shrinking it has brought about causing urgent need to dedicate more space to common areas such as bathrooms. This has brought a rising demand for somewhat casual furniture in order to make the atmosphere more home-like. Workstations are paying more attention to the third space i.e. the space having a feeling of the living room. Designers are searching for ideas to make the work setting more comfortable and relaxed yet maintaining an affordable budget. In this case the residential furniture of high brand value gets the preference as they are already acquainted with the designers.
Acquisition of new talent
It has been observed that talented new employees are directly impacted by the quality of the workspace provided by the companies. Top talents are attracted by cooler furniture rather than the traditional ones. The new generation has a slightly different approach to work than the old-schoolers and they execute their abilities differently. That must be reflected by the office landscape too. Clients are slowly inclining towards retail furniture of lower price rather than contract furniture in order to attract and acquire new modern talent.
Leases becoming shorter
The modern world is becoming uncertain in economic terms with the length of leases gradually becoming shorter. A typical lease now extends up to three to five years. Nobody expects a lease to last for ten years and so is the case for furniture. When the lease is over, the companies just want to walk away without shouldering any liabilities as the cost of moving the furniture surpasses the cost of buying it. Therefore, people aren’t looking to buy furniture that lasts 20 years rather they want it to last as long as their lease lasts. Companies looking for the lowest entry cost prefer their furniture to be cool and hip and trendy.
Is this shift beneficial to the market?
Well the answer to this question is rather complicated. One thing we must all agree upon is that something must be missing from the community furniture and contract furniture market which the retail furniture manufacturers have been providing. The desire for a lower price situation is primarily causing these selections but one must remember there is a tradeoff concerning warranties and quality. Contract furniture dealerships are facing a few shifts in the dealer business model due to the influence of the retail furniture. A much higher level of resources is required by the retail transactions because they do not possess a model which is contract segment structured. A lot of resources and internal hours are invested in this and like it or not it has also yielded significant results.
A great change is being experienced in the industry and as we go through it we come to know of new opportunities for innovation in case of arredamenti contract as well as mobili per comunità which are being highlighted time and again.
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