In our latest edition of COVER, Issue 65, Lucy Upward talks to six international rug retailers about how the pandemic changed their business and how they see the industry moving forwards into 2022. Here we present the first extended interview with Möbel Pfister AG rug buyer Stefan Amstad online.
What changes in your business have you noticed during the pandemic?
Digitalisation—which was already a strong focus before the pandemic—got another big push. In addition to home offices and team meetings, our customers have also come to terms with the new situation. A nice home became even more important for many. Purchasing could be done with digital tools during the ongoing pandemic. Through long-standing business relationships, we were able to secure our needs for hand-knotted unique carpets. Nevertheless, we are now happy that it is once again possible for purchasing to be done locally from the manufacturers.
Do you think these changes will continue after the pandemic?
Yes, I think that the advantages of digitalisation will continue to be used and expanded. Fortunately, we can welcome our customers personally in the branches again. This is very important for hand-knotted carpets, because despite the web shop and digital sales conversations, the haptic experience was very much missed!
Have customers’ buying habits changed because of Covid-19?
In the first lockdown, classic carpets like silk Ghom, Nain and Tabriz did very well. In the second lockdown, the range is broader again. In general, we see that the added value of carpets is understood by our customers and that the demand is increasing as a result.
How do you think design and purchasing trends will develop in 2022?
We feel that our customers are looking for lasting values and sustainability. The home is becoming a place of retreat and should be cosy. We will not be able to avoid the well-known trends like hygge and cocooning in 2022.