The art, wall decor, picture frame and custom framing market has rebounded from the last decade’s economic downturn, according to research conducted by Unity Marketing. In a survey of more than 2,600 American consumers, 50 percent indicated that they made a purchase in the art, wall decor, frame and framing market in 2012.
Though still not to pre-recession levels (58% in 2006), this is three percentage points above 2010 (47%). The growth of the overall category shows bright spots for custom framing, despite the industry’s struggles. Custom framing purchases were down three percentage points since 2010 (from 24% to 21%), but strong gains in the art market and the perceived value of custom framing by consumers point to opportunities.
According to the research, art buyers represent the best target for independent custom frame shops. They are the largest category of custom framing consumers, and are more active than they have been in the past six years.
Consumers in both sub-categories share very similar demographics, and art buyers are more interested in original art, with strong growth in that market. Original art also was ranked highest by survey respondents as the item most recently custom framed.
The research also indicates significant parallels between what motivates consumers to purchase art and to have pieces custom framed. Over 60 percent agree with the statement, “When choosing a piece of art for my home, the way the piece makes me feel is most important”. Fifty-five percent of custom framing consumers cited preservation and protection as the most important reason to custom frame. Having a “special item that needed framing” was the top reason to choose custom framing.
“Custom framing consumers are personally and emotionally attached to what they put on their walls,” said Jane Boyce, president at Tru Vue. “It’s no surprise that conserving those pieces is vital to them.”
The research also indicates that the expertise custom framing professionals provide fills a key need for consumers. The top three factors that influence where a consumer chooses to custom frame are trust, confidence and choice of materials. The primary reason consumers ultimately chose custom framing over ready-made was they “wanted an expert to frame this item”.
Possibilities for tapping into business from satisfied customers are strong. According to the research, 45 percent of consumers who have purchased in the collective category in the past year have items waiting to be framed. Many have two or more pieces they intend to frame.
Understanding the demographics of the typical consumer can help custom framers attract new customers. The custom framing consumer of the past was older, but the most recent report shows that 56 percent are age 44 or younger. It is also the category with the highest income level ($121,000) and skews male (59%).
“Though custom framing hasn't returned to where it was before, the growth of the overall market provides a number of opportunities for independent custom frame shops,” said Boyce. “Research shows that interest in art and wall decor is on the rise, and that consumers value what custom frame shops provide. The key to success is responding to the market where it is today, not how it was before the recession.”
Unity Marketing's Art, Wall Decor, Picture Frame and Custom Framing Report is designed to help art, wall decor, custom framing and picture frame manufacturers, marketers and retailers better understand the consumer market for their goods. Tru Vue was one of several companies that provided financial support to conduct the research and will share insights through its website over the next several months.
The full results are available for purchase at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Tru Vue is a manufacturer of high performance glazing products for the custom picture framing and museum markets. Tru Vue is a leading in both UV protection, as well as anti-reflective and specialty glazing products for these markets. The company is located in McCook, Illinois, and Faribault, Minnesota, and is a subsidiary of Apogee Enterprises, Inc. (Nasdaq: APOG). For more information on Tru Vue, visit the company website at www.tru-vue.com. Tru Vue was one of several companies that provided financial support for the research.
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