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Work-from-home trend fuels boom in home-furnishing sales

Sales of home-furnishing products in Singapore have more than doubled in the two months spanning February 1 to March 31.

Data from fintech research firm Revolut suggests the 105 per cent increase in sales has been brought on by Singaporeans setting up home offices in response to the coronavirus outbreak. Furniture retailers Courts saw growth of 92 per cent during the period, whilst competitor Ikea experienced 128-per-cent growth.

Work-at-home arrangements have also seen a rise in sales of stationery and school supplies by 15 per cent, while spending on entertainment has increased 55 per cent, largely due to purchases of digital goods on platforms such as Steam games (104 per cent) and Nintendo (82 per cent).

“It is likely that the worldwide coronavirus pandemic has had a significant impact on the increase in online activity and transactions overall,” read a report from the firm, “as many more people find themselves at home”.

Other significant sales data revealed by Revolut shows increases in do-it-yourself spending (44 per cent); local e-commerce (35 per cent) and in-store transactions (30 per cent) in March; and online food delivery (150 per cent).

Meanwhile, data from South Korean e-commerce site SSG.com shows that sales of products relating to home entertainment doubled in the first half of February compared to previous months. 

Sales of home-interior related products rose more than 40 per cent, while home training-related sales rose 35 per cent.

SSG.Com, the online shopping unit of retail conglomerate Shinsegae, said sales of products that allow children to make snacks using dough rose by 150 per cent, while sales of baking mixes for pancakes, cookies and brownies rose by 152 per cent.

Coffee-related appliances such as espresso machines, coffee makers and coffee-bean grinders also gained popularity, with sales rising 74.5 per cent and capsule-type coffee rising 25 per cent, according to a report in Korea Bizwire.

Meanwhile, sales of “home gardening” products or related products, which allow people to grow plants directly on their veranda also rose by 147.6 per cent.

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