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Shoppers now more likely to buy British furniture

BuyBritishSaveJobsMore than a third of shoppers are more likely to buy UK made furniture than they were before the coronavirus pandemic.

A survey of 1,005 UK adults for the British Furniture Confederation, which launches its Buy the Best, Buy British, Save Jobs campaign on 19 September, found 34% would be more inclined to support buying British furniture than they were six months ago.

More than three-quarters (78%) of those questioned said their buying decision would be influenced if they knew buying British would help safeguard 93,000 jobs in the country with women (83%) more likely than men (71%) to be swayed by that knowledge.

Half those questioned (50%) had bought furniture in past 12 months although nearly a quarter (24%) didn’t know where it was made. Younger people are more likely to have bought all-British with a third of 18-34 year-olds (33%) saying everything they had bought was made in the UK.

The buying decisions of those in the 35 – 44 age group were more likely to have been effected by COVID 19 with 38% of that group saying they’d be more inclined to buy British furniture now than they were six months ago, before the pandemic.

‘Our cabinet making industry has virtually died out and we import nearly as much upholstery as we make. Only in mattresses do we have a relatively healthy home market but even that’s crept up from just 2% of imported sales 30 years ago to the current 22%. UK furniture manufacturing has dramatically declined over the past 50 years, mostly because of cheaper labour in other countries. Factories overseas don’t always meet the UK’s requirements for a minimum living wage, safe working conditions and product compliance standards. 

‘Buying British is critical to the future of our industry which is why we are launching this campaign to raise awareness of the jobs at risk. We need to stop the rot and reverse the trends if we are to support jobs, increase the amount of products we make in this country and encourage investment in much needed skills for our young people.’

The survey also found that 13% of people who had bought furniture in the past 12 months said it had been made in the UK.