Franchise Spotlight: Home Furnishing
The home furnishing franchise sector can take you in a variety of directions.
Home furnishing franchises can specialise in furniture, flooring, kitchen and bathroom remodelling, loft conversions, furnishings retail, blinds, hot tubs or appliance and furniture rental, among other niches.
- UK households spent around £17.7bn on furniture and furnishings in 2017, up £1bn year on year – 2017 Statista Global Consumer survey
- The most popular home improvements are new carpets (35%), new kitchens (31%) and garden landscaping (29%) – 2018 Barclays Home Improvement Report
- Many franchises focus on kitchens and bathrooms, some in general furniture or soft furnishings, others more narrowly on niches like blinds or loft conversions
Fuelled by lifestyle magazines and a wide variety of home improvement TV shows, the British love affair for furniture and interior decor remains undimmed.
Of course, prettifying the home is a universal and timeless human urge: it makes sense to dedicate significant resources to a space you spend so much of your time in.
But a prettier home isn’t just an end in itself. A new kitchen or bathroom, for instance, can boost a property’s value well beyond the financial outlay and around 63% of households in England are owner-occupied.
Such substantive changes don’t come cheap, but franchises can leverage scale and efficiencies to offer cost-competitive alternatives –instead of a full ‘rip and replace’ kitchen for instance.
Those drivers aren’t likely to disappear. With the government aiming to build 300,000 new homes a year, the industry’s long-term outlook remains rosy.
Is a home furnishing franchise for me?
It helps, in many cases, to be interested in home interiors, although few franchises require previous industry experience.
From retail to renovations, from generalists to niche operators, there’s a wide range of home furnishings franchises.
So it’s important to evaluate current and projected demand plus competition for the products and services provided.
Many roles are focused on securing and retaining custom, so a flair for sales and customer service is often required. Employees are often needed too, in which case managerial skills might be a criterion.
The structure of home furnishing franchises
Franchises provide a recognised brand, proven formula, training and ongoing support, plus – thanks to their scale – competitive wholesale prices.
There’s an eclectic choice in the home furnishings category – both in terms of business model, products and services.
Many focus on kitchens and bathrooms, others in general furniture or soft furnishings, while some focus narrowly on niches like blinds or loft conversions.
What kind of franchises are out there?
Bespoke kitchens, bathrooms, storage units and appliances from Schmidt Kitchens are sold through more than 700 showrooms across 25 countries.
A 10-week training programme covers product knowledge, sales techniques, CAD design software, and reporting and management software tools. And Schmidt will finance up to 30% of your investment.
Every property needs flooring and The Wooden Floor Store’s offer just this.
Reassuringly, the franchisor will show candidates accounts of existing stores before they commit.
Dream Doors is the UK's largest kitchen facelift company.
A kitchen facelift is typically half the price of an average kitchen, it can be fitted in a day or two and avoids the upheaval caused by a completely new kitchen.
Award Leisure is an award-winning retailer of hot tubs, swim spas, wood-fired pizza ovens, gazebos, saunas and other outdoor leisure products.
Former sales director and Birmingham Franchisee Simon Baggaley even states: “I love my job; it’s the most fun I have had at work in the last 20 years!”
More Than Loft Ladders (MTLL) has a remedy for a scourge of modern households – lack of space. Providing and installing loft ladders, hatches, boarding, lighting and insulation, it’s a one-stop shop for loft conversions.
You can work from home, which lowers overheads, and the brand claims an average 75% customer conversion rate.
Shuttercraft shutters are made-to-measure to suit the tastes of customers whether they prefer contemporary or traditional styles.
Oakleaf is a manufacturer of period replica mouldings. Part-time, home-based and low cost this ‘lifestyle’ franchise might suit retirees, husband-and-wife teams with complementary skills or those pursuing a better work-life balance.
Franchisees fulfil a sales and marketing role, promoting traditional interiors, including replica oak ceilings and panelled rooms for both domestic and commercial applications.
With the home furnishings franchise sector offering such a wide variety of options, many will be able to find the right direction for them; ensure you can find your passion in the franchise and you will be able to thrive.