How India’s furniture rental industry is growing

Renting is not a new concept for us Indians. Whether it’s a house, wedding attires, jewellery, or any other high-value item, we have been renting things for decades now. However, up until a few years back, renting business was only restricted to these high valued items. People weren’t familiar with the idea of taking their furniture on rent, or even appliances. But now, the time is changing. With changing lifestyles and mindsets, the renting trend is also taking a new shape. As people are getting more aware of the option of furniture rentals, they are leaning towards this trend and getting more comfortable with it. And with this growing trend of renting furniture and home appliances, the Indian furniture rental industry is rising. The demand has increased significantly over a couple of years and to cater for it, companies like Cityfurnish are doing their best to fulfil the requirements in various metropolitan cities!

Let’s break it down – see how the industry is segmented and rising. To begin with, furniture is not the only category under this industry, however, it is the most transacted segment. The growth of the furniture rental segment is mainly due to the working-class and student community. People are moving to new cities in search of jobs, get an education, and for better opportunities in terms of startups or businesses, after all, metro-cities are the ones that drive the digital growth of the country. Moving beyond the concept of owning things, these people are now gravitating towards renting – it’s as easy as shifting from offline shopping to online shopping.

Millennials Drive The Rental Economy

It also involves people who like to experiment with their surroundings and like to upgrade the furnishings often. Let’s be honest, once you buy your furniture, you’re stuck with it for many years. It’s a huge investment after all. But what if the taste changes and you want to change the furniture? Would you bear the trouble of selling it all and then purchasing everything again? It’s highly unlikely unless you are rich. With this in mind, people have leaned towards furniture rentals because they can upgrade after a short period. This is adding to the industry’s growth rate as well.

The growing number of customers in the furniture rental industry show that now more than ever, investors are confident this trend will not only cover tier-1 but also the tier-2 and tier-3 cities.

An entire generation is opting out of the ‘buying things’ phase. Why? It’s simple. Renting is a perfect choice for this generation, especially millennials because they are more practical. They would rather live in the moment, get things for however long they are required, subscribe to services instead of investing a huge chunk of money in owning things. After all, it a much smarter way to live.

Wanting to spend their disposable income on apparel, grooming, travel and overall lifestyle, this generation is choosing to rent durables rather than purchase.

Cityfurnish is an online furniture and appliances rental company that caters to these new and enhanced lifestyles of urban Indians. From home furniture to office furniture, appliances, to fitness equipment, anything and everything can be rented at minimal prices. There are a lot of segments involved in this industry, so, let’s understand how it all works.

Market Size of Furniture Business & Renting Industry

Since 2010, an estimate of $20 billion in venture capital funding has added to India’s sharing economy. The Indian furniture market currently stands a $41 billion, with an anticipated growth of 31%-37% by the year 2024. In the furniture industry, the market size of the furniture rental industry currently marks around $1 – 1.5 billion in India, which is expected to grow by $700-750 million by 2022-2023. And as more people get aware of this cost-effective, hassle-free option, the furniture rental industry will continue to increase.

Furniture Market’s Category Segmentation

The basic segmentation of India’s furniture rental market includes these elements – type of furniture, tenure, business model and the regions. Further, in the furniture category, we have sofas, beds, wardrobes, which get the maximum transaction. Since the bed is the primary requirement of people, it’s the most rented out of this category.

Coming to the tenure, there is the segmentation of 6 months, 1 year, 1-2 year, and 2+ years. Among all these, 1-2 years is the most preferred tenure category while renting furniture.

The Trend is Further Leaning Towards Renting!

Talking of the current scenario, the trends have completely changed and there’s a buying behavioural change. As you know companies have been working remotely due to the ongoing pandemic, the demand for in-house furniture has increased as well. The “work from home” or “virtual working” culture has led to a dramatic surge in home-office furniture demand. People have been setting up their office spaces with rental furniture in their homes.

And the furniture rental companies are upping their game with innovative ways to fully utilize this opportunity and gaining from the “work from home” culture. Where there was only the “office furniture” category, now there are two segments, which included “home-office furniture.” This category includes desks or workstations, chairs, bookshelves, and multipurpose furniture.

Coming to the post-pandemic or lockdown phase, companies will be looking to cut costs. This means many companies will be looking to rent their office furniture in huge quantities, instead of in purchasing. These are the companies that will set up, and get the furniture yearly subscriptions of furniture rental services for their office spaces in 2021-2022.

Looking at how the industry is still making its way up the ladder, the furniture rental industry has an optimistic future ahead. It’s eco-friendly, cost-effective, and it is an effortless process. The furniture rental service providers like Cityfurnish offer free delivery, pickup, installation, and even maintenance services, which further cuts down the costs.

The need of the hour is innovation and creativity, and the furniture rental industry is changing the outlook of the rental business!

(To receive our E-paper on whatsapp daily, please click here. We permit sharing of the paper's PDF on WhatsApp and other social media platforms.)

Free Press Journal