We’re glad to see that many of our clients are continuing on an upward trend despite the current climate and difficulties due to the pandemic.

Recent reports for instance show that DFS for one, are among the retailers who aren’t fairing too badly under these difficult circumstances, which points to the success of their online offering.  This isn’t just coincidence or luck; it is because the management of DFS have for some time now been focused on moving forward as a Multi Channel operation. They’ve almost had an edge over more traditional Furniture Groups over the last 12 months due to years of working hard and not relying on their previous successes.

Through John Evans Interior Architecture & Design, we’ve been associated with DFS since its inception and before that for Northern Upholstery who purchased the name and stores.

It has been very interesting seeing the progression during the years, and it is easy to see why they have maintained their number one slot.

Since 2019, we’ve been working on the first phase of a refurbishment program for their stores which will bring the presentation of their furniture up to date and in sync with their online offering.

This is vitally important as shoppers’ habits have changed, for many the internet is the first place they visit when looking to purchase furniture. This provides them with style ideas, price points and importantly the opportunity to decide which Brand to buy from and which stores to visit.

Although online has no doubt been an advantage most recently for retailers like DFS, big ticket items like furniture, it’s inevitable a visit to a store to view the furniture is essential if an expensive mistake is to be avoided. To us, this is why purely online Furniture groups have been opening physical stores too.

This is why we really feel that Retailers with established bricks and mortar, can have an advantage by already having the stores. Unfortunately though, it isn’t always as simple as just having showrooms that are attractive. Retailing now more than ever calls for a joined-up approach.

A good website is essential with an opportunity to buy online if preferred, presented in such a way as to engage with the customer, offer style ideas and give confidence. This also needs to be backed up with the same approach on Social Media.

Once all this has been achieved the in-store experience becomes even more crucial. While all the good work has been done on the internet, this can be so easily undone as soon as the customer walks into a store. It is so vital for the in-store experience to lives up to the online experience and even surpasses it to complete the buying process.

Despite the unprecedented times, the refurbishments have generally continued for DFS into 2021 as they continue to move forward post pandemic.

— John Evans