We are sharing more: food, clothing, apartments, bicycles or cars. The sharing economy has now advanced into the furniture industry, and this at precisely the right time. This is because, according to a recent study from Connox, a German online shop for living design, and the furniture supplier Lyght Living, nearly every second person surveyed would rent furniture. The situation was entirely different only recently. While hardly anyone, or 2%, had rented private furniture to date, 48 percent can now imagine doing so in future.
According to the study, the reasons for this are various: regular redesigning and the possibility to thoroughly test furniture prior to buying are the main impulses. Especially renters are considering furniture rental in order to avoid the high purchase price and to remain flexible. The young people surveyed, on the other hand, don't want to commit themselves, or only require furniture for a limited period of time.
In order to be able to reflect the interest of the German Internet population in rental furniture in tendency statements, 1,536 customers of the online shop Connox were surveyed. 98 percent of them have not rented furniture to date. This was primarily due to the fact that that they had not considered the possibility or because furniture has a personal value to them.
Nonetheless, nearly every second person surveyed can imagine renting furniture in future. Once they had considered the subject of renting furniture, a total of 13 percent of those surveyed would probably rent furniture within the next two years. The study participants were also open-minded about second hand furniture: more than nine out of ten persons surveyed would also rent used furniture.
Other findings of the study: men tend to wish to rent for longer periods than women. On the other hand, women are prepared to pay more for rental furniture. Even with increasing age, those surveyed tend to be prepared to invest more money in rental furniture.
Of special interest to potential customers are chairs, lighting and chests of drawers. Those surveyed were least interested in mattresses, beds and carpets. Furniture is preferably rented as individual pieces and as required, ideally with the option of being able to buy it at any time. Also important, however, is the service around the rental. This is the highest priority for more than five of ten persons surveyed.
Exciting findings, some furnishing companies are addressing. The Swedish furniture corporation IKEA, for example, is currently testing how desks or beds can be leased. Other furnishing items should be added over time. In 2030, a large portion of the product portfolio should probably be available for leasing, as the manager Pia Heidenmark Cook, responsible for sustainability, explains in a press release.
However, the planned leasing offerings are more than simply a financing model: the goal is to develop leasing offerings on a subscription basis. IKEA thus remains the owner of the product and can ensure its continuous further usage before the material and the components are recycled at the end of the service life of the product.
The competition has also long since discovered the business with rental furniture. Approximately two years ago, the online shopping company Otto started the rental platform Otto Now. Here, customers could initially only rent electrical appliances. At the end of last year, 30 items from the home and living assortment were added, including tables and chairs, beds, shelves and sideboards.
The monthly price varies depending upon the rental period. Example: the renting of a chest of drawers over a period of six months costs 33.99 Euro monthly, while the price sinks to 14.99 Euro per month for a period of 24 months.
When the desired article is available, the in-house startup delivers within only a few working days and can thus in some cases beat the longer delivery times usual for furniture due to production.
The rental price also includes delivery direct into the homes of customers. Upon expiration of the rental agreement, the products are either sent back or picked up and prepared for further rental. Both variants are available to customers at no charge.