With an economy that has faced such harsh financial burden and with unemployment rates reaching such high levels, businesses are not putting “office redesign” at the top of their checklists; however, this all may change in 2013.
For the office and contract furniture industry, 2013 is already looking bright, as it is projected to be the best year for shipments since 2008.
According to Tom Reardon, executive director of the Business & Institutional Furniture Manufacturers Assn, the latest quarterly office furniture shipments forecast prepared by IHS (News - Alert) Global Insight predicts there to be shipments of $9.6 billion this year – a 3.4 percent increase over the $9.3 billion expected in 2012.
The once standard telephone, computer, server and fax machine are all being replaced by VoIP solutions, changing in shape, size, and most importantly to a country plagued by economic depression, cost.
“The slow rate of employment growth, new office construction investment, and overall tepid economic growth continue to present a challenging environment for the office furniture industry,” said Reardon.
By creating cost saving solutions and fusing technology with the basics of interior design, furniture companies have become more equipped to create furniture for the modern office that reflects the revelations in the industry.
Interior Concepts, a space saving furniture company, has been used by educational systems, office and call centers alike because of its innovative and inexpensive solutions. Thanks to developments made in the digital world, consumers are able to actively engage and design their furniture via the company’s website by chatting live with a member from its staff and the 3D Designs feature.
Furthermore, furniture companies such as Empire Office and K2 have formed an alliance that will allow them to offer their services worldwide, which seems to be a more profitable market for the industry.
“Expansion into other vertical furniture market segments such as educational and healthcare furniture provides opportunities for manufacturers interested in expanding their market focus. Some international markets (like the Middle East) also present significant growth opportunities.”
If office furniture companies continue to create inexpensive solutions that enable consumers on the new levels of engagement that the digital world has created, 2013 could be a profound year for the industry and the global market.
Edited by Allison Boccamazzo