Social Factors

One of the biggest social factors to affect consumers purchasing bedroom furniture has been the recession. The recession struck the UK in 2008, one of its most major impacts have been job losses with both big and small organisations having cut backs on the number of employees . Jobs for most families are a form of stability, relying on the wages from their jobs to pay mortgage or rent and to buy necessities. The unemployment rates in 2008 were up by 1.6% and at the end of 2009 were up by a staggering 2.5%, at the end of 2011 rates were up to 2.5% which has been the highest unemployment rate that the UK has seen in 17years. The Graph below shows unemployment figures from 2007-2011.

Unemployment brings along with it many factors that can affect a person’s health and wellbeing. Families that are used to being in a stable job with a stable income were the ones to feel the sharpest cut backs, along with families that were already on benefits and living off a tight budget. Things like going for family meals, holidays and going to the pub would have to be limited or completely cut out as unemployment hit, which meant that most families would have to change their lifestyle on a whole. A lifestyle change can have dramatic effects on families and relationships within the families, major cut backs and job loss can put stress on many parents and stress can bring along with it the following side effects, low self-esteem and confidence, depression, the feeling of being un-wanted and having no self-worth. Below is “Maslow’s hierarchy Of Needs”.

“Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs states that we must satisfy each need in turn, starting with the first, which deals with the most obvious needs for survival itself .Only when the lower order needs of physical and emotional well-being are satisfied are we concerned with the higher order needs of influence and personal development. Conversely, if the things that satisfy our lower order needs are swept away, we are no longer concerned about the maintenance of our higher order needs.” With factors such as family break up’s, job losses and unemployment you can see how these can effect on a person’s wellbeing, physical and safety needs. A person on benefits is not going to have any or very little interest in buying bedroom furniture when they can make do with the furnishings they already have and have to focus on buying the necessities such as food, rent, gas and electric. Being on benefits people get just enough money to buy necessities, so a bed wouldn’t be a priority to most people, until there’s became too old or worn down.

However when a home owner has been living in a property for a number of years with their family, they will normally redecorate or change the interior décor around every couple of years and will do the same for the children’s bedrooms depending on the age of the child. It’s most common for many children to have the same bedroom for a long period of years so it will be changed a numerous times depending on their age and style. Homelessness is also another main factor as to why bedroom furniture consuming has gone down so much. England has seen a rise in immigrants from all around the world, mainly European countries. The rise in population meant that not everybody would be able to be homed so Britain, London especially seen a rise in the number of rough sleepers.

Trying to tackle this, the government knew that more temporary accommodations and hostels would need to be put into practice. With both hostels and temporary accommodations being either fully furnished or part furnished, homeless people that are placed there would not need to go and buy any bedroom furniture as that would be provided as part of the accommodation. However later when later moving on into more secure accommodation it would be there responsibility to buy bedroom furniture suiting there style. On the other hand with technology changing over the last few years internet and social networking is a way for big retailers to get people’s attention. On social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter adverts will appear indicating sales that are on and how cheap bedroom furniture is.

This is a way to draw a potential customer in, highlighting the sale and price of furniture will intrigue the customer. Plus latest market research shows that people are more likely to browse on internet sites before visiting a bedroom furniture store, another way of trying to meet the customer’s needs on a social level. One of the leading marketers of bedroom furniture, Argos have set up a smart phone application which means, you could look for bedroom furniture whenever you wanted, in your own time anywhere you are as long as you have your phone with you, this is a convenient method especially for busy families who are always working or just don’t tend to have time to go down to the shops. As well as the smart phone application Argos have also joined up with Sky to provide Argos TV, which is basically just a way for people to view everything on offer in the comfort of their own home any time they want.