HOME SWEET HOME. During lockdown, the concept has never been better suited. In just a few weeks billions of us have had to stay home, rediscover our living spaces and everything that we do there: working, cooking, relaxing, reading, spending time with each other, meeting up with friends… and all these behaviours will shape new markets.

Video on demand services, concert retransmission, virtual tours of museums, online sports or yoga classes, video chat to socialise, deliveries… with lockdown, digital has revealed new ways of doing things and has strengthened some old ways which could last well beyond the current crisis and even inspire new markets and retailers.

Have you heard of Hygge or how to cultivate happiness at home?

We all know what a pleasure it is to stay a home. In some countries, it has even been elevated to an art of living. That’s what has happened in Denmark, home of Hygge (pronounced Hou-Ga), which translates as “the constant search for the pleasure of being at home”. 

Cushions, cocoon furniture, natural materials and candles…these are the essential components of any self-respecting Danish interior which are conducive to creating a calm and soothing atmosphere. So, does it work? Yes, and perhaps even more than you might expect! Not only did Denmark come second in the 2019 World Happiness Report, a ranking of 156 countries that measures happiness according to different criteria such as GDP/capita, social assistance, life expectancy and freedom. And the movement is now part of a global craze, the engine of a new economy: homebody or the at-home lifestyle.


Millennials prefer to stay at home.

“Staying in is the new going out.” The phrase alone summarises where this movement sits among the most trendsetting of populations. Indeed, one figure alone sums it up: in the USA, according to a report released last January, millennials spend an average of 70% more time at home than the rest of the population. This factor inevitably affects their consumption and has not escaped the brands which have adapted and are doing what they can to encourage it. 


The homebody, a growing market.

High-tech equipment, TV, speakers and anything game console related (since lockdown video game sales have jumped by 400% at AUCHAN stores alone) are among the most prominent players in this niche. But online mattress sellers, such as TEDIBER, CASPER and EMMA, have also made comfort and well-being at home their main selling point (at CASPER, the morning cry of “just 5 more minutes!” has turned into “just another 500 minutes!”). And don’t forget loungewear and indoor clothing, beauty and wellness products, not to mention all entertainment platforms and services (video on demand, podcasts, online courses…) and home offices.


Delivery everywhere for everything.

Across the Atlantic, it is already estimated that nearly half of all meals purchased in restaurants are consumed at home. It’s a movement in the same direction as generalised take-away sales and delivery which is gaining ground everywhere (https://www.oney.com/news/one-day-we’ll-all-get-deliveries/). After meals and grocery shopping, it is now possible to have snacks and aperitifs delivered for your user-friendly video-call evenings, or even binge-watching series on streaming platforms. NETFLIX, which is already leading the way and which has every interest in keeping us at home, has already established several partnerships with this type of provider. 


What if Covid19 created new retail opportunities?

We can see it happening. On the one hand, no sector has been spared, and on the other, consumers have had to learn new habits and, for some, shift faster into the digital goods and services economy (the main one that springs to mind being teleconsultation). So, will covid19 help new markets and new retail requirements to emerge in the long term? No doubt. Will it endanger those stakeholders who will find it more difficult to take their products and services to consumers? Perhaps… unless these retailers are able to offer completely new experiences that will make them want to leave their homes. 

Crédits photo : Tediber, Casper, iStock