Flat-pack and by-the-app are how millennials buy furniture

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Flat-pack and by-the-app are how millennials buy furniture

Younger shoppers in their 20s and 30s are splashing out on home furnishing as they spend more time indoors due to ongoing social distancing measures. [YONHAP]

Younger shoppers in their 20s and 30s are splashing out on home furnishing as they spend more time indoors due to ongoing social distancing measures. [YONHAP]

 
Furniture shopping has become increasingly popular among consumers in their 20s throughout the coronavirus pandemic, according to data from Shinhan Card’s big data research center.
 
Shinhan Card’s research arm on Sunday said markets related to home furnishing have dramatically grown as the coronavirus pandemic has encouraged people to stay home for extended periods of time.
 
The home furnishing market includes regular furniture stores, do-it-yourself (D.I.Y.) furniture stores like Swedish firm Ikea, and online apps related to home decor. According to Shinhan Card, the performance of the three markets have all reflected an increase in demand compared to last year.
 
The performance of online interior apps has been especially notable.
 
These apps offer products from a wide array of furniture and interior brands at one place. Usage and sales of these apps have markedly gone up. 
 
During the January to September period, sales of interior apps rose by 160 percent on year. This is a sharp growth compared to brick-and-mortar stores specializing in D.I.Y. products and large furniture stores. Among users of online apps, 36 percent were in their 20s and 31 percent in their 30s.
 
The market share of apps related to interior design is also on the rise. 
 
Over last year’s January to September period, these apps ranked third in terms of market share, with 13 percent. Meanwhile, large furniture stores accounted for 49 percent and D.I.Y. furniture stores took up 38 percent. 
 
During the same period this year, the share of large furniture stores decreased by 42 percent and D.I.Y. stores by 35, but that of apps related to home decor and interior design went up by 23 percent.
 
Large furniture specialty stores sell assembled furniture and provide remodeling services for the entire interior of a house. The price range is generally high — which is why a third of the consumers at furniture specialty stores are in their 40s. People in their 30s took up 29 percent, and those in their 50s took up 21 percent. People in their 20s only make up 6 percent.
 
People in their 30s were the biggest group of consumers for D.I.Y. furniture stores, which sell furniture with an aesthetic design for a reasonable price. Those in their 40s took up 30 percent.
 
People in their 20s comprised the biggest consumer group for online apps and websites where people can buy decorative items for their rooms, such as oneroommaking.com. Among all consumers, people in their 30s took up 31 percent, and those in their 40s accounted for 20 percent. Around half of the users belonged to single-person households.
 
According to Shinhan Card data, there seems to be a correlation between the willingness to stay home and penchant for interior design. 
 
Customers who visited offline or online furniture stores more than once between January and September also used over-the-top (OTT) platforms 73 percent more often than those who only visited once. Purchases of espresso machines and other coffee making equipment were also 312 percent higher.
 
BY HONG JI-YU, LEE JEE-YOUNG   [lee.jeeyoung1@joongang.co.kr]

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