Mar 27 2020

Cooperation instead of competition in the interiors industry

People pull together in times of crisis, like the interiors industry now. Government lock downs and contact bans have meant that shops have been closed for several weeks and people are still reluctant to shop. The retail trade and the industry are providing each other with mutual assistance and showing that the top priority is cooperation instead of competition. Living magazines and interior bloggers have also come up with a few ideas to entertain and inspire their readers.

Cooperation instead of competition 

The corona virus forced the retail trade to close its doors. The Stilwerk company, on the other hand, opened theirs, at least digitally, with the goal of preventing the ruin of stationary traders from the home and living industry.

"Cooperation Instead of competition – Stilwerk has been committed to this with its platform approach for more than two decades", Stilwerk owner Alexander Garbe explains. "A motto that is more important than ever during the corona pandemic. Whether at the societal or the economic level.

On order to prevent the dying out of smaller companies being accelerated by corona and to serve as a digital accelerator of the living industry, we have decided to also open our online shop, with its wide reach, for brands and traders external to Stilwerk at no charge".

How does this work? The idea behind Stilwerk is consciously one of solidarity and provides for a payment model on a voluntary basis. In concrete terms, this means that traders place an unlimited number of products in the Stilwerk online shop at no charge and pay only a low, external payment provider fee of two percent when they actually sell something via this channel.

As thanks for this, the business operator can voluntarily round up and thus give something back to Stilwerk for the corona help received. The offering for externals should initially apply for three months.

There are also a number of cross-industry initiatives such as "Retailers help retailers". The German e-commerce association bevh has collected the different offers.

Stool for Help: Cross-industry support

With the HOCKER FOR HELP campaign, several furniture manufacturers and designers want to actively support Hamburg's club and cultural landscape. For them, Hamburg is one of the creative music strongholds in Germany, this culture needs money that it cannot earn even at the moment. The companies Hafenholz, Jan Cray, Ply Atelier and We are Studio-Studio have produced stools for it. The profit from the sale of the stools goes directly to the Clubkombinat Hamburg, which in turn distributes the money equally to clubs and players in the Hamburg cultural landscape. The credo of the four companies: We believe that it is currently more important than ever to stick together as entrepreneurs and support each other wherever possible.

Screenshot: Instagram hocker_for_help

Self-quarantine manifesto: #StayTheFuckHome

With the launch of the homepage, Florian Reifschneider called upon people in March to enter into voluntary quarantine as soon as possible. Within a few days, 1.5 million people had read his self-quarantine manifesto and joined together with the Frankfurt resident. 

Including the decorative fittings manufacturer Schwinn. The crisis is making people creative, they say at Schwinn: "Maybe we can bring a new challenge to life with this action that can really save lives". In order to also reach the young generation in particular, Schwinn decided to adopt the drastically selected words to underline their importance.

The company engaged itself for the clear message with a photo in which furniture handles produced by Schwinn form the text #StayTheFuckHome.

Drastic times require drastic words: #StayTheFuckHome. Decorative fittings manufacturer Schwinn supports the campaign of Florian Reifschneider. © Schwinn Beschläge GmbH

We love our homes: #30DayHomeLove 

"I work in the interiors industry and am firmly convinced that a home is a place of refuge, and that has never been as true as it is now", says Niki Brantmark, founder of the blog My Scandinavian Home. "When I observed the events throughout the world, I began to give some more thought to what I could do to help.

Because an increasing number of people are stuck at home every day, I wanted to do something that could offer positive distraction, a goal for everyone and for every day and a possibility to help people gradually beautify their homes, in order that they become an even better place. I discussed the idea with Holly, and the #30DayHomeLove challenge was born". 

Under the hashtag #30DayHomeLove, interiors fans worldwide are connecting at Instagram and showing their homes and interiors ideas. Originally for 30 days, from 23 March to 21 April 2020, but now extended to the end of May interiors fans can present their favourite places from their homes following a daily motto and share these with the communities of Decor8 and My Scandinavian Home.

The idea is being well-received: "Our followers love it", says Holly Becker, founder of the Decor8 blog. "I can't believe the reaction; it's a little overwhelming to see all the comments and direct messages in my mailbox.

People are enthusiastic, share it with their friends, have something they can look forward to and, most importantly, feel more positive again. We are all together in this situation, because we are all 'stuck at home'. So, why not meet others online who like to decorate and do something motivating and productive?"

Gruner+Jahr is joining #WirBleibenZuhause with living brands

Exceptional situations require extraordinary measures: the magazines Schöner Wohnen, Couch, Living at Home and Holly are asking readers to take part in the hashtag action #WirBleibenZuhause of the Federal Ministry of Health and are setting an example of solidarity during the corona crisis.

With special content, the four media hope to offer their readers special added value for at home in coming weeks. For example, the "Sofa so Good" podcast of Schöner Wohnen looks at the theme of home quarantine in a special episode. In the process, editor-in-chief Bettina Billerbeck focuses on questions like: how does one deal with a quarantine at home?

Under the hashtag #COUCHCares, the Couch editorial team supports actions, companies, artists and the self-employed. Readers and users can send their suggestions directly to the team and the magazine will share the ideas on its channels with a broad reach. © Gruner+Jahr

How can one find the bright sides of such a situation? What chances does it offer and how does one ensure that the walls don't close in at home? How can one avoid quarantine cabin fever in the home office, keep children happy and do something good for neighbours and others.

Andrea Fischer, Chief Operating Officer of G+J Living Digital GmbH, explains: "Our goal is to further motivate people to really stay at home and to show them what is possible between their own four walls. Use the time and make things nice for yourself! Which is why we support actions on all channels and hope to animate as many people as possible to share and participate."

Together through the crisis

One is less alone together: this is the motto of many companies and people worldwide. Exchanging ideas, talking, networking and finding common solutions for the crisis – whether these are of a business, financial or personal nature. The interiors industry shows that solidarity is possible in corona virus times and that a beautiful home is more important now than ever before.

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