Wealthy millennials fuel the craze for buying antiques online
Wealthy Millennials are spending thousands of dollars on antique furniture on the internet, according to a luxury design firm, as demand for items with a story grows.
With online shopping supercharged by the pandemic, young people trying to spruce up their homes have bought £ 6,000 of whiskey bars and £ 10,000 of canapes online without ever seeing them in real life.
The trend is being fueled by millennials who are aging, have higher disposable income and want “souvenir” products, according to executives at Bazaar London.
It is also likely to have been boosted by a wave of forced savings during the lockdown, with around £ 200bn put in the bank by the UK public as travel halted and pubs and restaurants closed. .
It comes amid an increase in antique purchases by younger, bargain-seeking and environmentally conscious generations.
Bazaar was launched in August last year and is part of the Accouter group of companies (AGC), founded by interior designers Stella Gittins and Alec Watt.
Gittins said millennials were the “most environmentally conscious generation to date” and preferred items that are sustainably made and by artisans.
She added: “We tried to develop an experience for people because they don’t necessarily walk Bond Street anymore.
“It’s all about the experience now and they see the product as a memory.
“With Bazaar we had a theory that it would work – but we were so surprised when someone first logged in and bought a £ 10,000 table online.”
Watt said this was part of a larger shift during the pandemic, when customers became more willing to spend large sums even though they had never seen them in person.
Items for sale on Bazaar range from £ 21 from scented candles – with phrases such as ‘Please leave before 9pm’ and ‘Wash your hands, dirty animal’ – to Buster & Punch cocktail bars costing over 2,860 £, as well as sofas and even £ 52,000 worth of Damien Hirst artwork.
Mr Watt said customers are increasingly interested in environmentally friendly products “with a story”.
He said: “They want to know where the product came from, the history of sustainability, if we have artisans involved and how they are treated.
“Also, traditionally our clients wanted to come see us – they would come from anywhere and we would sit in the studio.
“But the big problem with Covid is that it has moved online to Zoom and Teams and people are making these kinds of high-end buying decisions online. It’s not something that we thought there would be a demand for because people used to want to touch and smell and sit and look at the products, but it turned out to be very popular.
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