The state of the design industry, in numbers

There is an old saying that can be read as a blessing or a curse: “May you live in interesting times. Interesting is definitely one way to describe the moment. Crazy is another. To sum up the COVID-era craziness in the design industry – from skyrocketing demand to a broken supply chain to rapid technological leaps – probably requires more than a word. It’s also worth looking at the numbers.

To take a snapshot of a wild time, Home affairs industry-wide rounded statistics, dollar signs and figures. They paint a picture of a business in an unprecedented time of disruption and opportunity.

Freighters lined up at the Port of Los Angeles

Now, BOH Readers will hardly be surprised by catastrophic news on the global supply chain, but it is worth watching this shocking statistic. Although the Biden administration ordered the “American port” to operate 24/7 (it’s not quite there yet), last Tuesday the number of ships waiting to be unloaded was the highest. highest ever. The wait time between mooring and mooring in Los Angeles is also at an all time high: 18.6 days.

The price of a container ship from Asia

The good news is that this is a drop from the record highs of over $ 20,000 in August. The drop has led some industry analysts to speculate that carriers are losing their pricing power and that the surcharges on imported furniture could disappear. However, the cost of a container is still five to seven times what it was before COVID, and it’s unclear whether this drop is purely the result of market factors or a seasonal lull (any which has not yet left China not to arrive in the United States by Christmas). Bottom line: Shipping overseas is still historically expensive.

The percentage increase in furniture prices

Inflation has come to domestic industry. A combination of supply chain grumbles, labor shortages and outsized demand have pushed furniture and bedding prices up 12% in the past year, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics . This figure is so surprising because it is almost double the headline inflation rate for all consumer goods, and it goes against historical trends in the industry: furniture almost never gets so expensive so quickly – it’s the biggest leap since the 1950s.

Vanguard login bonus for an experienced upholsterer

There has never been a greater demand for home furnishings, and meeting it has never been so difficult. This is a particularly ironic position for domestic manufacturers, who do not have to deal with delays abroad and the cost of shipping containers. Instead, their biggest challenge is often the workforce – finding enough experienced local workers in an industry that has been ravaged by globalization (concerns about COVID, direct stimulus payments, and lack of access to daycare for parents all play a role). As a result, domestic manufacturers raised wages across the board, and many, like Vanguard Furniture, instituted signing bonuses for skilled workers.

The percentage of interior designers who say their business has grown during COVID

First, there was the massive shutdown of projects in the spring of 2020. Then came the flood, as designers around the world were inundated with requests from crazed customers looking for a refreshment. This pace continued until 2021. According to a BOH According to a survey, only 10% of designers say their business has remained stable or declined in the past 18 months. In contrast, a quarter of designers say their activity has increased by more than 50%.

HR revenue for the second quarter of 2021

It’s no secret that the COVID era has been rocket fuel for home business manufacturers and retailers. This is especially true for those who cater to the rich: In 2020 and 2021, the rich got richer. Although most luxury home brands are privately held and do not share their revenue, the recent HR earnings report is a reasonable indicator of the continued strength of the home boom at the top of the market. . Between last April and July, the company grossed nearly $ 1 billion, 40% more than during the same period in 2019.

Percentage decline in Wayfair shares from all-time high

It’s hard to think of a business more prepared to deal with the spike in pandemic household spending than Wayfair – it sold furniture without forcing customers to put on a mask and brave a crowded store. The company’s stock price confirmed this thesis. By March 2020, it had fallen to its lowest level in five years, just below $ 30. A year later, the shares were worth $ 343, a gain of over 1,000%. However, the company’s latest earnings report was a bit of a disappointment, and the stock has lost more than a quarter of its value. While private labels are still posting record revenues, some of the euphoria on Wall Street has clearly faded.

The cost of an hour of Amber Lewis’ time

Before COVID, electronic design was often seen as a low-end service. But the rapid adoption of remote working across all levels of the economy quickly changed that. There’s no clearer sign that electronic design has lost its stigma than The Expert, a platform that connects consumers to acclaimed designers for hour-long Zoom consultations. Amber Lewis is one of the most expensive designers in the business, but many charge over $ 1,000 for 55 minutes of virtual advice.

The number of virtual exhibition rooms

In 2019, that number was zero. But the COVID-era mass event cancellations have led to thinking outside the box and spawned online-only experiences like BADG’s Obsidian Virtual Concept House, BIDN’s Iconic Home and Seasonal lifeDesigner virtual showhouse. According to our unscientific count, to date there have been 74 rooms designed for virtual exhibition houses. Will that number continue to grow so rapidly even after the COVID decline? Only time will tell, but the phenomenon is certainly not over yet—Martha Stewart alive magazine and influencer marketing agency Embello are teaming up for a new showhouse that will open its digital doors in March 2022.

Minutes to sell $ 450,000 worth of digital furniture

If you’ve only heard of one NFT, it’s probably a digital artist Beeple‘s Daily: the first 5,000 days, which sold in March for $ 69 million at auction. However, a month earlier, the Argentinian artist Andres Reisinger sold a collection of non-fungible tokens representing 10 “impossible” pieces of furniture he had designed. The collection, made up entirely of digital images, sold in 10 minutes for almost half a million dollars. The story has a turn: a few months later, the Dutch furniture brand Moooi put one of the pieces, the Hortensia armchair, into production. At a base price of $ 3,248, the physical object is considerably cheaper than its NFT counterpart.

Front page photo: Shutterstock

About Gertrude H. Kerr

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