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French consumers' purchase intentions for 2024

In 2024, French consumers' purchase intentions remain positive regarding home improvement, despite a more fragile and versatile consumer in their buying behaviour. Around 18 million households are considering making purchases for their homes, with a priority on insulation, windows, heating, garden landscaping, bedding, sofas, and kitchens. Decreased purchasing power and increased ecological awareness are prompting the French to weigh their choices between new and used items, as well as favouring repair over replacement. Of those opting for new purchases, 36% plan to finance, showing a real intention to extend the credit duration. This is based on research by Sofinco.

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French involved in home improvement and renovation
The periods of confinement have led the French to reorganise their homes to create more space and make them more livable, while the economic context reinforces the trend towards more energy-efficient homes. About 18 million households have the intention to purchase at least one item for their home equipment in 2024, accounting for 61% of French households. The strongly progressing purchase intentions focus on windows (+83.3%) and heating systems (+42%). The kitchen also receives a more favourable consideration in 2024, with 3.2 million households considering a purchase for this space (+23%).

On the renovation front, nearly half of homeowners will undertake renovations in 2024 (47%). Simple tasks like wallpapering or painting walls will be predominantly carried out (21% of households). Following this, insulation work, both interior and exterior, takes second place, as the French have realised the significant benefits of proper insulation in saving on gas or electricity bills.

Competition between new and used
French consumers are increasingly turning to the used goods market. 34% of households planning to equip themselves in 2024 are willing to resort to second-hand purchases for at least one of their items, compared to 29% in 2023. This applies mainly to furniture (table, chair, desk...) and sports equipment.

They also prefer to repair rather than discard and replace their belongings. 82.7% of French consumers prefer to repair furniture or appliances when damaged or faulty instead of buying new ones.

Ecological argument gains ground
Although the primary reason for buying used items is cost savings for 65.7% of the French, the ecological argument is progressing and is mentioned by 40.5% of future buyers of used products. More than half of the French (51.5%) also agree to prioritise local manufacturing, even if it means paying more, and an equal number buy eco-responsible products for their homes (54.2%).

36% of future buying households will use a financing solution for at least one of their home equipment purchases in 2024. These intentions are declining compared to 2023 in all categories, even as the pressure on purchasing power remains high. Financing will be preferred for more expensive purchases, with heating systems (40.2% of future buyers) leading, followed by air conditioning (39.8%) and the purchase of sofas and armchairs (34.5%).

Due to the rise in prices and interest rates, consumers are very vigilant about the amount of monthly payments. Some will prefer to extend the duration of their financing.

Purchase journey starting with over 80% online
Even though the French overwhelmingly prefer in-store purchases to furnish their homes, in 2024 they want to spend more time at home, driven by economic and social factors (67%), and because their home remains a "refuge" from the world around them (88%). Thus, 8 out of 10 will start their buying journey online, from their homes. These trends should encourage professionals in the sector to further develop the omnichannel nature of their journeys and enhance service and expert advice in-store.

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