Daval's Simon Bodsworth: Bedrooms are key to evergreen retail sales

InsightFeatures Thu 14th Sep 2023 by KBBFocus

Daval's Simon Bodsworth: Bedrooms are key to evergreen retail sales

Daval's Simon Bodsworth: Bedrooms are key to evergreen retail sales

Simon Bodsworth, MD at Daval Furniture, reveals why he believes it is forward-thinking independent kitchen retailers who are uplevelling their showroom to include fitted wardrobes, dressing rooms and full bedroom displays, who will continue to drive sales and engage new customers.

It’s time to wake the sleeping giant in your showroom, as the evolving wellness bedroom is set to become a valuable revenue stream going forwards, reflecting consumer demand for life-enhancing luxury, and the plain and simple fact an average-sized property can have up to 3.6 bedrooms. When we look at population trends in the UK, millions of millennials are preparing to buy their first home in the next three to five years. So, in order to capitalise on this powerful market driver, retailers should pay close attention to the buying behaviors of millennial consumers and make the necessary adjustments to capture market share.

From general observation, the silver surfer market has now been superseded by mid-career professionals and starter families who have a clear design point of view that are primarily being driven by the latest lifestyle trends. Not only are they bringing new levels of design creativity, but they are also often more adaptable and flexible in their approach, which can be invaluable when completing a new renovation project.

Daval Lugano New England Oak & Finsbury Tan Marble dressing room

With the latest predicted population growth and the rise in aspirational living, UK consumers have become more concerned with style and interior design, and this is expected to drive demand for space-efficient, custom-made furniture. As trends from the luxury market are increasingly incorporated and absorbed into the mainstream at speed, retailers should note that being able to use a virtual dressing room was more important when buying luxury products online.

In fact, a Statisa survey by 23% of UK luxury shoppers aged between 18 and 24 stated that using a virtual dressing room was a factor leading them to making online purchases, with 20% of Gen X and 19% of millennials agreeing, in comparison with 4% of those aged between 57 and 66. We must recognise that e-commerce continues to shape the retail landscape and redefine lifestyles, and this very data shows that the dressing room is becoming integral to the next generation of home buyers and therefore, premium properties will need to reflect this growing desire.

For us, we are finding that social media – more specifically Instagram – is paving the way for a new generation of customers who want to emulate the idea of a picture-perfect lifestyle being presented everywhere online, be it a walk-in shoe store or boutique style dressing room. In fact, more value has been placed on our homes since the pandemic, becoming a sacred place that is highly personal and so a healthy mix of bricks-and-mortar retail, e-commerce and social retail will ensure a ready stream of enquiries from varying demographics.

Daval Lugano Open Dressing Room Double Wardrobes

Storage is a key issue for most UK households and its importance is not diminishing, since space within the average UK home remains limited, particularly in the bedroom. This lack of space has resulted in the growing popularity of fitted furniture, creating significantly more storage space thanks to its tailor-made qualities. Providing up to three times more space depending on application, this style of furniture fits around the customer and room in question rather than remain a fixed shape and/or size. Fitted furniture works much harder than off-the-shelf and is far more beneficial for getting around spatial limitations for both homeowner and design studio. In fact, we are finding that made to measure furniture is helping to make use of all available space, with units being designed full height and width, along with accommodating awkward spaces like under the stairs, eaves or within an alcove.   

I anticipate that more and more homeowners will be keen to upgrade their bedrooms to optimise their space as well as add value to their homes, especially when a 2022 study has revealed that fitted wardrobes can add up to £100k to a property. As the trend for practical luxury in the home intensifies and property owners see the benefits of made-to-measure fitted furniture, the master bedroom and more uniquely, walk-in wardrobes and dressing room areas are enjoying newfound attention. Bespoke furniture can also add value to the home which is often of interest to clients and when it is ‘designed in’, it has the advantage of making a space feel larger and more upscale and property developers are of the same mind.

Daval Mayfair Bronze Fitted Wardrobes, Danby Interiors

As standard, the master bedroom is now broadening its scope to include a dressing room in premium developments in addition to the traditional ensuite bathroom, where architects and developers are using this ‘complete suite’ as a unique selling point to attract homebuyers. In fact, blueprints from leading regional developers are now including specific niches for dressing room areas to optimise the storage potential and create a point of difference when marketing the finished property.

Thanks to the latest technological developments in furniture manufacturing and a growing consumer appreciation of deluxe, sustainable interior design in the past decade, I am delighted that retailers can deliver designs which were once solely reserved for the super-premium home to more homeowners. According to the latest Bedroom Furniture Market 2023 report, demand for wardrobe and storage products is set to grow by 5.1% between 2023-32 globally, in line with increased urbanisation and a housing boom.

So, in my opinion, independent retailers who can position themselves as experts in property and lifestyle, which are supported by a quality range of multi-room furniture will undoubtedly increase new opportunities for revenue, build on their reputation, and provide an all-inclusive customer and design service.

Daval Garda Cashmere High Gloss & Varenna Oak, Danby Interiors

Tags: insight, features, simon bodsworth, daval furniture, bedrooms

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