“The pandemic has ushered in the era of the multifunctional home," says Rosalyn Hastings, UK expansion manager for Schmidt
The new demand for multifunctional homes means Schmidt kitchens and home interiors franchisees are enjoying record sales.
Rosalyn Hastings, expansion manager for Schmidt in the UK, says: “The pandemic has ushered in the era of the multifunctional home.
“Homes are no longer just for evenings and weekends. Record numbers of people are now working from their homes, so their living space needs to be an office, a study space for children, a workshop and a kitchen suitable for home baking.
“All this has driven a massive increase in business for the franchisee partners, who own our 28 showrooms across the UK.”
Schmidt UK has had two record months, with August sales figures up 139 per cent on August last year. Figures for September are even higher, with an increase of 146 per cent.
During lockdown, customers were using Schmidt’s online Creativ’Box tool to design and order their own bespoke kitchens, bedrooms and living spaces.
“We have seen a huge increase in online requests for appointments from customers keen to get their projects started and sales conversions and showroom footfall have both risen massively in recent weeks,” Rosalyn says.
“We actively support our network with TV advertising and national social media campaigns, which continue to drive the growth and success of our network.”
The boom in orders is in part powered by customers investing lump sums reimbursed by holiday companies for breaks they were unable to take and, in some cases, redundancy payouts.
The market is also driven by home vendors boosting the saleability of their properties and buyers investing the funds they have saved because of the current cut in stamp duty. This is no short-lived boom.
“A survey by The Institute of Directors shows that 74 per cent of 1,000 firms say they plan on maintaining homeworking even after the pandemic,” Rosalyn says. “Homeworking is here to stay and people need homes that make it easy.”
Actively seeking franchisees
Schmidt franchisees help customers to redesign their home interiors - including offices - plus kitchens, bedrooms, bathrooms and furniture.
Its vast choice of office desks, shelves, lighting, chairs and storage means each project can be unique to the customer’s needs.
“We are actively seeking more franchisees now and our performance, plus, the upturn in the home improvements and retail sectors, means that banks are now happy to lend to prospective Schmidt franchisees,” Rosalyn says.
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