Furniture brands should tap into the vintage market to satiate the millennials’ desire for authentic, affordable and sustainable furniture and homewares, according to a consumer trend forecaster.
Yianni Giovanoglou, trend specialist at WGSN for Australia and New Zealand, said the mass adoption of e-commerce, sustainable lifestyle, and a desire for nostalgia have created a vintage furniture boom among millennials.
“The second-hand furniture market was seeing growth pre-pandemic, butas consumer attitudes shift to more local, sustainable and authentic products, the category is set to skyrocket over the next few years,”he said in a webinar, adding the growth will be largely driven by millennials.
As they enter the housing market, Giovanoglou cited a report indicating that millennials are looking for affordable, well-made furniture that “represents their personal style and vintage products tick these boxes.”
“Millennials are using vintage furniture to boost their mood and express personal style,” he said. “Brands have an opportunity to help millennial consumers execute their personal style via vintage upcycling.”
Giovanoglou said brands can also reissue classics in updated colorways and fabrics to generate a limited-edition feel.
He said vintage products are also more appealing than the eight to 12-week lead times of new furniture.
“The furniture industry’s pre-Covid-19 (coronavirus disease 2019) long lead times were already a pain point for consumers, designers and retailers. When the pandemic caused factory closures, material shortages, transportation issues and rising labor costs, the furniture supply chain witnessed major stalls, many of which remain. Combined with the war in Ukraine, the furniture and homewares industry is hamstrung for the foreseeable future,” he added.
Giovanoglou said millennial consumers are tapping into various discovery channels to feed their vintage needs, from estate sales to micro-influencer curators.
“Social commerce has made sourcing vintage furniture and housewares easier and new technology is empowering millennials to find exactly what they’re looking for,” he said.
To seize the huge vintage furniture market, Giovanoglou underscored the need to partner with vintage dealers to “ensure your assessment tells a story, is on trend, and authentic.”
“Look into micro-influencers and virtual storefronts to see what products are trending in what markets,” he said.
Giovanoglou also advised brands to think outside of the metro and consider alternative retail channels.
“From cottagecore to Regency revival to Frasurbane, new eras, styles and design movements are making waves among millennials. There is no one-size fits all to vintage in 2022,” he said.
Giovanoglou said they also need to consider alternative retail channels as estate sales and auctions are booming with the housing market.
“Look at how seasoned dealers are using online and IRL nostalgic experiences to generate buzz and drive millennial engagement,” he said.