Increased investments in ‘home’ is a permanent change: Lifestyle CEO


January 26, 2021 | By Shruthi Nair

“The saying home is where the heart is, has now changed to home is where the body is”, jokes Ruban Shamugarajah, CEO of Lifestyle.

The pandemic has resulted in many consumer behavior shifts, one of which has been in the home décor segment. According to Shanmugarajah, the move towards investing consumer spends in home is a permanent trend.
“It’s like fashion – every season consumers would go out to buy clothes and accessories to change their wardrobe. I think a similar behavior will play out in the home décor space”, he said.

UAE Furniture market is expected to register a positive CAGR of around 5.6% during the period 2018-2022.
However, although consumers were investing in the bigger/heavier furniture like beds and sofas at the beginning of the pandemic, they are now looking for trends over commodities that can complement their space.

“Consumers aren’t buying beds or big purchase investments as we saw at the beginning of the lockdown. We have started to see that they are investing in the smaller décor pieces. Our sales of rugs have gone through the roof. Same with throws for the sofa”, he said.

With work-from-home expected to continue and people spending more time in their homes as the pandemic prevails, consumers are going to continue investing in their houses. The availability o disposable income, which would’ve otherwise gone into travel or outdoor entertainment is now being used to deck up their homes.

“We continue to spend a lot more time at home and therefore there is a certain monotony that sets in. So people are trying to change the look and feel of their rooms in any way possible. Consumers have e joyed doing that and it is a permanent change in habit”, he said.

“The pandemic has made us fall in love with our homes again. But boring home offerings will not survive and we need to understand the desires, trends and the retailers will have to be very fashion-forward and trend-led to sustain”, he concluded.

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