European office furniture to recover following different paradigms
According to an article by CSIL issued in the ‘World Furniture’ Magazine (91, September 2021) and to the real estate observers, enforced lockdowns and working from home continue to delay office occupational deals from progressing as businesses review their operational strategies.
In 2020, European office take-up was over 30% down on the five-year average. The impact on office furniture demand has been immediate. The total office furniture consumption in Europe amounted to Eur 7,707 million in 2020, posting a -15% drop at current prices.
Among the largest European markets Germany, Poland and Switzerland showed a less marked decrease if compared to the average. The decrease in the United Kingdom, Sweden, and the Netherlands has been substantially aligned to the average. Office furniture sales in France, Italy, and Spain showed over 20% drop.
POSITIVE PERFORMANCE EXPECTED IN 2021
What emerges from the available data is a complex picture with an initial return to offices but not at the pre-pandemic occupancy levels.
Globally we are witnessing the great contraction of office real estate space. The increase of flexible working, availability of homeworking equipment, and productivity benefits are seen when working from home are factors, which were not present before the pandemic. Another factor influencing reduced office occupancy is related to the cost savings associated with homeworking, opposed to renting an office floor space.
The CSIL outlook for the European area shows a recovery of office furniture consumption in real terms of +2% in 2021.
Source: CSIL Report 'The European market for office furniture', June 2021
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