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‘Imagination gap’ costs furniture retailers millions a year: study

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More than 70% of UK consumers have put off buying furniture because they could not imagine the item in their home, a new study suggests.

This ‘imagination gap’ means that customers decide not to buy, or delay buying, items from wallpaper and paint to furniture, according to the survey, commissioned by computer vision company Digital Bridge.

It estimates that the gap is costing UK furniture retailers millions a year.

However, 40% said that they would be more likely to buy furniture if they were able to visualise it. The report also found that 21% of shoppers were now more likely to buy online, rising to 39% of millennials (25 to 34-year-olds).

DigitalBridge CEO David Levine said: “The imagination gap is a very real concern for the UK’s furniture and interior design market as customers continue to turn away from a sale because they are unsure how products will look in their own homes.”

Manchester-based DigitalBridge, which recently took part in John Lewis’ latest JLAB accelerator programme, offers customers the chance to create 3D models of their rooms and virtually ‘try on’ wallpapers, paint, carpet and furniture in their own rooms so they can see what it will look like before they buy it.

It says that when the product was trialled with John Lewis, more than 83% of customers said it helped them to make a buying decision.

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