Mecenat Insights – How students buy furniture and interior design

Price, recycling, and sustainability guide students’ choices when shopping furniture and interior design. Second-hand is a part of everyday life, but new products are still the most common purchase and physical stores hold their position well in competition with e-commerce. And when they buy new, it is the well-known brands at the top of the list. That and much more emerged in our latest Mecenat Insight about how students think about interior design and furniture.

Physical stores are strong in the competition with e-commerce among the furniture suppliers. Almost 60 percent of the students say that they usually buy their furnishings directly in the store. The well-known brands are at the top of the list, where IKEA of course has a special status, followed by MIO in second place.

That recycling characterizes many of the students’ everyday lives is clear in the survey results. Stores that sell second-hand and flea markets have always been closely associated with student life. This behavior is facilitated by the fact that there now are plenty of second-hand shops that opening up in A-locations in many of our larger cities. Therefore, it is perhaps not so surprising that over 30 percent answer that they usually buy used furniture when they need to renew or supplement their interior.

The least surprising result is that price still is the most important factor when students decide what to buy. But the sustainable attitude is indirectly indicated by the fact that quality comes in a clear second place, close to price and with a large distance to other alternative answers.

Mecenat has worked with the student group for a long time, and we are not surprised. Our experience is that students often have a limited budget for larger purchases, but they are nevertheless willing to pay for quality, regardless of the type of product in question. This hasn’t changed over time, it only confirms what we have seen during the 25 years we’ve worked with student discounts.

The student group generally doesn’t have easy access to a car to transport bulky or heavy purchases themselves. This gets obvious in the willingness to pay for the home transport of furniture. Almost the entire student group is willing to pay to have bulky furniture brought home, but there is an upper limit around five hundred SEK. Just over 10 percent say they don’t want to pay anything at all for home transport.

A convincing majority find the inspiration for their purchases online, despite the fact that many then go to the store to be able to feel and squeeze the goods before they shop. Surprisingly few, under 10 percent, use influencers as inspiration for their purchases of furniture and furnishings.

The survey has 1,999 student recipients. They are randomly selected from Mecenat students and the result is then weighted by gender and age against the total Swedish student population.