Just because more and more people these days are working to a tighter budget does not mean that when they shop for something for their home they still do not want something created with style and flair. For many a young person setting up home for the first time the major high street outlets will still be the place they go to furnish their new home. And now these same retailers have cottoned on to the fact that to keep the customer satisfied and hopefully returning in the future with a greater budget at their disposal, it’s important to offer a combination of keenly priced but desirable products.
In recent times we have seen a number of retailers crack this complex formula, offering exciting, original designs at an attractive and enticing price-point.Take, for example, the new range from John Lewis, somewhat unimaginatively entitled “House”. The range features over six hundred products, including furniture, lighting and textiles fit for any home, starter or not. And they need not break the bank either – one of the most popular items in the range is the Gibraltar tumbler, pictured, costing only £2.00. John Lewis claim they sell one every two minutes!
House of Fraser has also got in on the act with its own “Linea” Shabby Chic range which includes distressed effect leather furniture, while Muji’s simple, uncluttered products will look as good in five years time as they do today.
Apart from these in-house operations, there is one stand-out collaboration between retailer and designer, namely M&S’s Terence Conran range. The partnership has only been going for two years but looks set to endure, with its emphasis on high quality products and materials, attention to detail and, of course, affordability.