UK’s largest digital retailer Argos launched a new homeware and furniture brand, Heart of House which was designed to meet the needs of real family lives and homes. This is of course, taking into consideration how changed family life has become throughout the last decade and its effect on homes.
Argos currently offers around 43,000 products through their site, stores and over the phone, it makes around 123m customer transactions a year. The launch of Heart of House is part of Argos’ drive to increase its appeal amongst broader customer groups, which supports its transformation strategy to become a digital retail leader. Argos is committed to developing and growing its own brands to become a £1.5bn business which represents a third of its total sales by 2018.
A report by Heart of House and Argos revealed interesting insights into what the British home looks like in 2014, from technology banishing bookshelves to men admitting to tweeting in the bathroom. The in-depth research has been drawn from a social media analysis of over 16 million tweets from the past year as well as consumer polling of 2,000 British adults.
Stats conclude that many modern homes are consigning TV cabinets (38%), office desks (35%) and even hostess trolleys (60 %) to the history books. Technology is predominantly the reason for traditional items no longer being deemed useful in a family home. For example, using the kitchen table as a home office (18 per cent) and piles of cushions as a makeshift laptop stand (15%).
Jack Wallace, Brand Controller for Heart of House, said: “Thanks to the ever-growing popularity of Facebook and Twitter, we felt that social media was a rich source to gain some real insights into typical family home life. Homes have changed dramatically over the last decade through the introduction and popularisation of technology in every section of the house. Heart of House is all about offering furniture and homewares that truly fit the needs of modern families and this research really underlines how we see customers using these items in the home.”
Due to innovations such as flat screen TVs, people are now ditching cabinets and the death of bookshelves is signalled because of an increase of tablet ownership and e readers. Despite classic items being eradicated, the most popular item is always the bed, which dominated 55% of Twitter conversations analysed. This was followed by the dining table, shower and armchair.
Research from Heart of House also uncovered that 23% of Brits do not sit down to eat and prefer standing. Also, it might not come as a surprise being in a tech-savvy society that people use social media even in the bathroom, taking the meaning of being online 24/7 to a whole new level.