Attending NeoCon 2022

July 1, 2023

Attending NeoCon 2022

Our Senior Vice President Zenichi Kajihara and Business Develop Manager Keisuke Tsuboi attended NeoCon 2022 — an annual big event that showcases the newest trends and innovations in a commercial design platform.

Like the last year, Chicago hosted NeoCon at the Merchandise Mart Plaza, and people from across the State as well as from other countries gathered there.

Similar to NeoCon 2021, the shift from work-from-home to back-to-office was evident from the exhibited furniture at NeoCon 2022, according to Tsuboi. However, unlike most of the furniture at NeoCon 2021 came with partition walls, Tsuboi saw less of them this year.

Tsuboi came up with two possible reasons for this change:

First: the possible correlation between the COVID cases and the demand for partition walls
During the pandemic, partition walls are installed on office furniture such as chairs mainly to keep a social distance and prevent the spread of the virus. However, as the COVID cases slow down with the effect of the COVID vaccines, more and more people feel safe interacting with other people closely. Tsuboi thinks this situation translates to the workers’ environment at the office. In short, Tsuboi guesses that the current situation of COVID cases is greatly reflected in the trend of office furniture.

Second: an increase in the home furniture
Tsuboi said the number of home furniture exhibited there was almost the same as that of office furniture. Some go back to the office. Some remain working from home. Therefore, it’s likely that many companies have balanced out the number of home furniture and office furniture to broaden working style options for diverse customers and companies.

Although things seem better for furniture companies as we see a decline in COVID cases, they are facing a new challenge — inflation.

Inflation in the U.S. has been causing a rapid increase in both product costs and ocean freight shipping costs. This situation has been limiting furniture companies from reasonably increasing their furniture price, according to Tsuboi. They would lose customers if they were to do that. What they have been doing now is increasing the furniture price to the extent that they still have customers who are willing to buy their products.

It’s been pretty challenging for furniture companies to regain pre-COVID sales.

Let’s connect more through our social media:

>>Phone: 425-277-7850