Don’t get caught napping on bedroom sales
Bedrooms are an easy add-on sale for kitchen retailers. Francesca Seden takes a look at the latest trends in bedroom built-in storage and how the coronavirus pandemic positively influenced sales in this market
While it is well known that kitchens and bathrooms benefited from a sales boost due to the Covid lockdowns, the trend has also extended to bedrooms. They became needed for family members who might have moved from London or other big cities to join Covid ‘bubbles’, or for makeshift offices or studying spaces for people working more often from home.
Symphony Group retail and marketing director Simon Collyns comments: “Consumers invested in creating functional and comfortable living spaces, leading to an uptick in furniture and storage purchases. Remote work and changing lifestyles prompted a focus on adaptable storage for work/life integration. While the initial effects of the pandemic were pronounced, there has been a sustained shift in consumer priorities. Home investments remain relevant as individuals continue to value versatile, well-organised spaces that cater to their evolving needs.”
In addition to these more practical drivers, there has been a growing awareness of the importance of taking care of our mental health and a focus on zen-inducing spaces in which we can truly relax and rest well at night.
This need for restful space, according to Häfele category manager Elizabeth Briggs, is further combined with the need for multifunctionality. She says that in a survey of 2,000 homeowners it conducted in 2023, 44% use the bedroom to get ready, around two-thirds use it for clothes storage, a third use it to watch TV and 11% use it to work from home. The Häfele study found that even though the use of a bedroom as office space has halved since its previous research in 2021, it’s still something that one in 10 homeowners “need to consider”.
“As a result,” Briggs adds, “we’ve seen the rise of spaces such as ‘the cloffice’ – a desk within a closet or wardrobe space. These highly flexible spaces can be created using systems like the Hawa Concepta. As a hinged system, which then slides back into a pocket, pivot doors can be used to unveil a desk space and equally, hide it away outside of work hours.”
Ian Sandford, managing director of Daval bedroom retailer Danby Interiors, says his company has seen budgets double in recent years, as the importance of the interior accommodation of the humble wardrobe, traditionally with a shelf and a flimsy rail or two, now becomes a thoughtfully designed, compartmentalised and well-lit space. Integrated steam cupboards are now being asked for too, he says.
He adds that interior drawer fittings, finished in leather or felt, have also become very popular, as they “add another level of luxury”.
Influencers like Marie Kondo told us all to keep only the objects and possessions which “spark joy”, and during the pandemic, and in the years since, we’ve followed that advice with gusto. At the time of writing, #KonMari, or some variation on it had more than 100,000 tags on Instagram, while Marie Kondo had even more.
Influencers are so important to help drive sales that brands often partner with them to give their sales a boost, and Draks is one of these.
The built-in wardrobe and sliderobe specialist has recently started a collaboration with the “Declutter Darling” (@thedeclutterdarling on Instagram) to inspire people on how to utilise and make the best of their wardrobe, while also maximising space and optimising organisation, Louise Stellar, sales and marketing manager for Draks explains.
It is apparent that now is a great time to get into selling bedrooms if you don’t already, particularly at the more luxury end of the market which isn’t so affected by the cost-of-living crisis.
There is clearly a desire for built-in wardrobes and interior organisation, and there is plenty of room for growth in the market. As Häfele UK’s Briggs, notes: “In our survey, we asked respondents which items they didn’t currently have but would like, and built-in wardrobes with sliding doors topped the storage chart at 34%.”
Focus on quality
In terms of how retailers can more effectively sell bedrooms and things designers should bear in mind, our contributors recommend that retailers focus on high-quality products, while ensuring that they are well-educated to sell all the benefits.
Simon Bodsworth, managing director at Daval, adds that the best retailers see the art of customer service as all about anticipating a client’s future needs.
“It is unlikely that a growing family will need less storage and as bulk buying remains popular, homeowners will need places to store everything from home office supplies to beauty products. With this in mind, retailers always need to focus on the lifestyle that they are selling the customer and consider how bedroom solutions will bring more calm, ease and simplicity to the daily routine.
“As hybrid working is becoming the norm in professional roles, retailers can also demonstrate how a box room can be transformed into a customised home office with a mixture of open and closed storage. In addition, with the trend for younger people living at home for longer and commuting to local colleges and universities, creating a space that will double as a study area as well as an adult bedroom is another area ripe for potential growth.”
Danby Interiors’ Sandford recommends offering Corian and quartz for worktops, as he says these offer “an extra dimension to the room”.
He goes on to say that bedrooms are becoming more stylish, less fussy and often very minimal. “The days of over-bed units are almost gone. Elegant pendants glowing above a bedside unit, intelligent use of glass and mirrors can be used to amplify the sense of space. Walk-in dressing rooms have become so popular, being part of most extension projects or making better use of a box room that’s become a dumping ground.”
He says that even though you might not offer decorating, soft furnishings and radiators, it is important to know what the client wants as it could have implications for installation and room design. “A last-minute declaration of full-length curtains, as opposed to blinds, might fundamentally change the design to allow clearances for doors and drawers.”
Symphony’s Collyns emphasises that bedrooms, compared with kitchens and bathrooms, are a relatively easy install so retailers could simply tag a bedroom furniture installation on to the back of a kitchen or bathroom. “It is a relatively affordable way to add value to a property, which is something consumers are constantly looking to achieve.”