EDITOR'S CORNER: You want a tiny... what?
My daughter and her husband recently decided to buy a tiny house. Theirs will be on wheels; all told about 215 square feet. For those of you who haven’t heard, there’s a (big) tiny home movement brewing. To find out more, just google “Tiny House” or tune into A&E’s series Tiny House Nation.
The interest in homes under 500 sq. ft. isn’t surprising. The ones I’ve seen typically run $35,000 to $100,000, are cheap to heat, environmentally friendly, mobile to varying degrees, and low maintenance. Tiny homes make it impossible to collect a lot of personal stuff. They can accommodate a queen or king mattress, a few accessory items and perhaps some outdoor furniture. Everything else is multi-functional and built in.
It’s enough to give furniture retailers nightmares! Even worse, this movement is part of a larger consumer trend to spend more on experiences, technology, sporting goods and items that support lifestyles. It is not good news for our industry.
Not every millennial will aspire to live in shoebox size accommodations, but the trend is worth noting. What will it do to your business if 10 years from now the average new home is substantially smaller? Will you be able to meet the needs of customers looking for smaller scale products and multi functional designs? Please let me know your thoughts.
Russell Bienenstock is Editor-in-Chief of Furniture World Magazine, founded 1870. Comments can be directed to him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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