The future of the domestic furniture industry 2025

As part of a joint project the Association of Woodwork together with the Furniture Industry of North Rhine Westphalia, comprising of; Hettich, Technocell Dekor, Egger and JAB Anstoetz, created six scenarios for the future of the domestic furniture industry.

What would an apartment or a house be without any furniture? The answer to this question is as short as it is simple: “empty”. Furniture stays with us for a lifetime, from childhood to old age, both in private and at work. There has always been furniture and there will always be, this much is clear.  However, how would the future of our domestic furniture look like?

Aspects such as consolidation of the industry, price war, the potential progress of furniture discounters, a focusing of consumers on furniture as a functional commodity, quality features like “Made in Germany” or furniture seen as luxury and lifestyle goods are relevant. Where do we stand today and which developments are possible? In order to discuss these issues, ScMI has developed six scenarios on behalf of the associations of the wood and furniture industry of North Rhine-Westphalia e.v. and published them in a scenario study. In this study six different future scenarios were developed:

Furniture made in Germany (Scenario 3)
The furniture industry is consolidating along the value chain. “Furniture made in Germany” is in global demand and OWL is developing into the center of the furniture world. The purchase of furniture is a matter close to heart.
Local furniture as an object of desire (Scenario 1)
The furniture industry understands how to react to changing customer needs such as brand awareness and individuality by automating highly differentiated product portfolios.
Furniture and services as lifestyle (Scenario 2)
The furniture industry faces a positive and diverse market demand with creative, rationalized and environmentally friendly alternatives.
Appearances are deceptive (Scenario 4)
The furniture industry transfers the production to low automation and specialization. Customers with purchasing power demand functional furniture and forego emotional decisions or services.
Triumph of discounters (Scenario 5a)
The furniture industry has to adapt to given market conditions but still has options of action towards services. Furniture is seen as an insignificant, functional, mass product by customers.
Furniture industry price war (Scenario 5b)
The furniture industry consolidates, transfers and tries to save whatever can be saved through innovations. Furniture seen as a cheap, mass-produced article.

The detailed results of the study, to which various sector enterprises contributed, are offered to download here.