Indoor furniture appeared in a better place in 2014 than at any time since the recession started. Growth returned in the US, and China’s consumer market remains strong as many households become first-time buyers. However, ongoing currency woes have impacted global growth and consumers in developed countries are increasingly inspired by other alternatives to brand new furniture. The industry needs to better care for an ageing population and also be on top of the sustainability issue.
Several markets have seen their currency devaluate against the US dollar, which resulted in wiping out the gains made in local currencies and thus affected global growth rates in value.
The Chinese economy may be cooling down, but consumers are not showing any sign of cutting back on spending, so much so that China will be the largest driver of growth in indoor furniture over the forecast period.
More people live in urban regions, and the average size of flats is shrinking due to the demographic pressure on land. This will create new opportunities for designers to create more compact and multi-purpose furniture.
A rising trend can be seen in mature markets as consumers seek for more personal and unique furniture. They see it as a more meaningful way to decorate the home than mass-produced flat-pack furniture. Retailers and manufacturers will have to accommodate that by providing more customisation options while maintaining their profit margins.
The world’s population is ageing, obesity is rising and there are more single-person households. These key demographic megatrends will have a huge impact on indoor furniture in the years to come as the products will have to adapt to their users.
Sitting is the basic purpose of indoor furniture, yet cultural differences remain as to which type of furniture people prefer to buy, depending on space available, comfort and social habits.
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