COVID-19 IMPACT SURVEY MAY 2020
The global blinds and shades market is expected to feel the heat of the virus-led recession in the short-term, and will grow in the post crisis period to reach a revised projected size of US$12.3 billion by 2027. Global GDP is expected to dip into the red at -3% with the US economy shrinking by a shocking -5. 9%. Unemployment rates have hit never-before highs with the US topping the charts with 12.5% unemployed as a % of total labor force. Social outlook against this background remains grim with households expected witness erosion in wealth. Personal financial outlook, community, economy, job security confidence, purchasing and investment confidence are all tumbling as the human and economic cost of the global pandemic rises. For the furnishings industry this brings grim news of falling sales and revenues as consumers hold back on discretionary spending. In an unprecedented turn of events, the world has been cornered with limited available options. Governments worldwide have been forced to choke off the economy via harsh social distancing measures. Players in the blinds and shades industry will need to brace for impact as a dark and stormy economic climate creeps over the world.
Factors that make blinds and shades important in modern homes and buildings include the need to create the perfect brightness factor for the room; its value as an important interior décor; reduce energy consumption in the home; sound insulation benefits and privacy and perceived security. In the post COVID-19 period, the market will still continue to be driven by the availability of a wide array of trendy, stylish, innovative, fashion-forward and energy saving window treatment solutions; and popularity of smart automated blinds and shades. Continuous technology innovation geared to enhance product functionality and performance will therefore remain crucial to growth. Recovery in construction activity and home valueswill be vital for the market's growth revival. Like the pre-pandemic period, consumer preference for custom blinds; and rise in smart homes and the launch of energy efficient smart-glass based window shade solutions as a replacement for electronic window shades will spur gains.
Few of the trends that were in vogue in market before the pandemic included growing popularity of roman blinds as a the perfect window dressing solution for kitchens, dining rooms and bathrooms; come back of patterned blinds and shades in tropical prints after a decade long obsession with plain beige and white colors; marked preference for layered drapes and blinds for their ability to create an illusion of a grander window; strong demand for automated and motorized blinds and shades given their convenience, safety, and programmable benefits; and rising prominence of energy efficient insulating products and the ensuing demand for cellular blinds or honeycomb blinds made from multiple fabrics woven to form a honeycomb-like shape. All of these trends, although currently in hiatus, will bounce back once the economic climate improves. In the emerging markets rapid urbanization; expanding base of affluent middle class homeowners and a parallel rise in aspirational spending on branded home furnishing products; investments in commercial real estate; and strong demand for "green" eco-friendly solutions like shades & blinds manufactured from woven wood, reeds, bamboo, grasses and jute, will drive growth during the post-pandemic period through 2027.