2017 has been another busy year for the team here at Lazy Susan. We’ve seen a significant number of changes both online and off, new people joining the team, and a host of exciting new products.
With 2018 fast approaching, we thought it would be nice to share some of our 2017 highlights.
Sales have been strong, and while the wider UK furniture industry has suffered in recent years, garden furniture consumers seem to be much more optimistic about the British weather than they do the current economic Brexit climate.
According to a report by gfk.com for Furniture News, there was 17% growth in outdoor living furniture sales in 2016. Nothing has been published with regard to 2017 sales as far as I’m aware.
So whilst most other furniture sectors were showing negative results, the outdoor sector has been bucking the trend. Garden bench sales were up 53% on the previous year, while garden tables also showed a rise of 21%.
And the good news for Lazy Susan is that online sales are the main driver of growth in the UK and Europe.
Research suggests that many consumers are doing much of their research in store but they are shopping around for the best deals and buying online. Long may that continue we say!
Our 2017 highlights
With so much going on, I wanted to do an article that pulls together our 2017 highlights, plus introduce some of the exciting things we have in the pipeline for 2018…
Modern Furniture Collection
Our charity work aside, the new modern range was a clear highlight for myself and many of the Lazy team.
Reaction from our customers has been fantastic, with many of the sets becoming instant best sellers.
The launch of this modern styled collection brought something a little different to our offer, which historically has always been a little more classically styled.
Our modern dining tables are constructed from a strong, resilient, aluminium, many of them paired with a tough, glass table top.
The co-ordinating chairs combine aluminium with a hard-wearing PVC coated outdoor fabric. Incredibly soft to the touch but designed to stand up to all the British weather can throw at it.
Our new modern garden furniture range is both practical and will save you space. All tables are extending, allowing flexibility when friends and family pop over for a drink or you decide to throw an impromptu party.
We are very proud of our new modern garden furniture range, how popular it has instantly become, and that is why it had to be one of our 2017 highlights.
Do Some Good
Of course our Do Some Good campaign was going to be one of our 2017 highlights. We’re immensely proud of what we’ve achieved. And it is all thanks to our fantastic customers!
In 2015 and 2016 we donated just over £19K to WaterAid, unicef and charity: water.
And whilst we were proud of that number, we really wanted to raise the bar a little higher in 2017. Challenge our customers to help us donate even more to some causes that are close to the heart of all here at Lazy Susan.
And as I sit and type this post, we’ve raised a staggering £20K to date. That’s around double what we’d achieved in 2016. Unbelievable. We can’t thank our fantastic customers enough.
All we asked was that when they purchased any of our garden furniture, they should take a photo of their new furniture in situ, email it to us. Simple.
We would then donate £10.00 for any set of customer photos of our furniture in their garden, £20 if it was all dressed up and ready for lunch or a BBQ.
So far we have donated the following to our chosen charities for 2017:
The money we have raised for charity: water in particular was recognised by an invitation to the palace for Lazy Susan head honcho, Micheal Scott.
Whilst our charity work is an obvious 2017 highlight, so too are the customer photo’s we’ve received as part of the Do Some Good campaign.
We love getting them. It’s great to see where our garden furniture ends up.
Plus, no studio taken shot can truly showcase our products as well our customers. They provide potential customers a much clearer idea of what our sets could look like on their own patio.
We have amassed quite a gallery, so please be sure to pop over to the shop site and take a look.
As with our customer photographs, reviews of our products are also essential. So this for me had to be another 2017 highlight.
We’re an online retailer, most people can’t visit our Chichester showroom, so this is the next best thing.
Honest reviews of our products are testament to how hard we strive to ensure a high level of customer service, good delivery service, and the fit and finish of our furniture.
The generosity of our customers to actually take the time to rate and review our products never fails to amaze us. And I guess it helps that the majority are 5 star positive reviews!
You can read them for yourself in our Customer Reviews section and if you’d like to write a review, just look for the links on the product page of the furniture you purchased.
Assembly Instructions & Videos
We’ve had various assembly videos on our YouTube channel for a number of years but they were by no means comprehensive.
We sent print copies of assembly instructions with the products themselves, but we get many a call from customers who’ve accidentally thrown them away with the packaging.
This is such a critical part of the process of buying from us that we felt we weren’t doing it justice, so we hired a professional YouTuber to shoot brand new assembly instruction videos for us.
This project is quite advanced, the first videos have been getting uploaded to our website and YouTube channel over the last couple of weeks.
Alongside the videos on our website, you will also find PDF copies of assembly instructions that you can download (see image above).
We are also encouraging our customers to send us assembly photos too, and one of our lovely Italian customers, Marina Rizzato sent us the following fab photos:
We understand the importance of Social Media, we’d be a fool not to. That said in the past we’ve been a little hit and miss, not posting as regularly as we should. We’re making a conscious effort to improve and make better use of this platform.
The Do Some Good campaign was recently rolled out to our main social media channels. We have 1 Facebook site, and 2 Instagram profiles, one global and one for our German customers that we are focussing on.
So if you’re not already, please give us a follow, and feel free to share our content with your friends.
You’ll find our main Instagram account @lazysusanfurniture and the #lazysusanfurniture hashtag is also in use, so please add that to any pictures of our furniture that you post on your own account.
Lazy Susan 2018
That’s just of few of our 2017 highlights, but what about next year. Well don’t worry, we already have some exciting plans in the pipeline.
However, I wanted to end this article by sharing a few teasers. More detailed blog posts will follow of course.
In terms of new product development, we really wanted to focus on our bistro sets and sun loungers.
We’re getting 2 new types of lounger from the classic range (Stella & Rose), our popular Amber lounger is going to be launched in slate, and Michelle is going to be available in a host if new interesting colour combinations (see above and below for a sneak peek).
I’m afraid we don’t have pictures of all our new sun loungers as yet, but as soon as I do they’ll be up on the blog and shared across our social media channels.
Our slate colourway proved to be incredibly popular in 2017, so we will be extending the range further.
And as I mentioned, another focus for us in 2018 is going to be our 2 seater bistro sets.
The Alessia bistro set has proven to be very popular, so we are introducing that style in our antique bronze and grey colours.
Plus, we’ve tweaked the design of the chairs to improve back comfort, and they’ll now feature 3 slats instead of 2.
Zara and Rachel will also both be available in a choice of white, black, antique bronze & grey, and we’re also introducing a new classic bistro set called Tulip in white and antique bronze.
I’m afraid we have no pictures as yet, but as soon as they’re available we will be sure to share them across all channels.
And last but by no means least, we’re also launching our first garden sculpture.
This beautiful piece of garden art features a pair of Crane pair birds, is finished in our antique bronze colourway (pictured above).
Further details will be available soon!