A powerful market for the home furnishings industry.
Furniture and fashion have evolved from our parents and grandparents’ generations along with what it means to own and purchase furniture. It used to be a testament to one’s stage in life and financial stability. For Millennials, like me, this is still the case, but the way we approach our buying decisions and what is important to us may be a little different.
As the largest generation in American history, Millennials hold a large majority of purchasing power in today’s market. And while we may be obsessed with our iPhones, that doesn’t mean we shy away from the in-store experience. Specifically, in the category of home design and furniture, we actually prefer to buy in store over purchasing online. A recent survey done by HFN found that 63% of Millennial’s purchased their furnishings in-store. We read digital reviews and do research online so we are confident when we make a purchase in store. Online is a great place for browsing and comparing prices, but when it comes down to it, purchasing home furnishings is still an intimate process.
With many of us shifting from apartment living to home buying, Millennials have a desire for freedom and flexibility. Versatile furniture is important as well as quality. Interestingly, our sense of style is shifting the industry’s design choices to ensure these desires are catered to. A majority of young adults like to entertain at home, for example, so this is a consideration in the design process. Our generation often seeks a modern design that is simple as well as multipurpose. Neutral color schemes are in high demand, more specifically grey. Eclectic styles are also of interest with an aversion to everything matching. Styles are shifting to appeal to this powerful generation.
We are also a generation that grew up creating our own products, and it is no surprise we seek the same involvement in our interior purchases. Customization is very important to us, but on the other hand, we don’t like waiting for our delivery – we want our dream sofa yesterday. However, we must realize the furniture buying process is a compromise and find a balance between immediate gratification and getting exactly what we want.
The good news! Millennials are ready to start investing in their homes. In 2015, Millennials spent $27 billion on furniture purchases, according to Furniture Today’s 2015 Consumer Buying Trends Survey. And a recent study done at High Point Market indicated Millennials make up 37% of all households buying furniture. There is no doubt, we are a powerful buying generation and the furniture and interior design industries are ready for us.