Made.com will sell to more European markets in 2019, while expanding its showroom space as it looks to offer millennials the ‘brand experience’ they want. The furniture brand, which this week reported record results for 2018, says way it sells appeals to the digital natives who, it forecasts, are set to make up more than half of consumers by 2022.
Made.com, ranked Top350 in IRUK Top500 research, says that in 2019, Europe will overtake the UK as its biggest market. Currently it sells in nine markets in Europe and will add a further four this year. “Made.com’s ambition is to create the leading design brand for the digital generation across Europe,” said Philippe Chainieux, chief executive of Made.com. “The digital millennial audience will account for 50% of consumers by 2022 and as such, it is important to craft an interaction where they are, meeting their expectations and building a design experience around them.”
Made is trebling the size of its London showroom to more than 1,100m2 and is opening another in Hamburg, Germany in the spring. It says it will open new showrooms in the European markets where it operates.
The business this week published results showing revenues of £173m in 2018, up by 37%, year-on-year. UK revenues grew by 34% to hit £100m for the first time. The market accounted for 58% of turnover, while international revenues grew by 40% to £73m, after October’s launch into Spain.
Chainieux said: “We had a strong year in 2018, at a time when the retail sector is going through unprecedented change. Over the past 18 months, we have seen an accelerating trend towards customers shopping online of big ticket items, driven by a massive shift in consumer behaviours and the rise of the digital generation.”
Jo Jackson, chief creative officer at the furniture brand, said: “For us being a digitally-native brand, online will always come first, but we know a human connection with the brand can be a valuable midpoint in our customer journey. We are doing something different with our physical spaces. They are not shops, they are brand experiences. From being able to touch and feel fabrics, discovering new trends, getting personal style advice, attending a workshop with one of our independent designers, or even playing with new tech we are testing out in the space, these are all seps to build a deeper and a more personalised relationship with our customer.”
Made’s innovative approaches to selling include crowd-sourcing and crowd-funding design ideas through its TalentLAB platform that it says will launch 200 new designers a year. It commits to put into production designs that receive enough public support. Its overarching strategy is to cut out the middleman in furniture production, working directly with manufacturers and craftspeople around the world to promise customers unique furniture and homewares at an affordable price.
Today it employs more than 500 people in the UK, Europe and Asia.
Image courtesy of Made.com