Global Excellence Awards 2020 Page 13 LUX 2020 Global Excellence Awards trends. Moreover, as society becomes more considerate towards the environment, the industry’s attitude towards materials has also developed. To address this for example, we offer a material created from recycled plastic bottles. Therefore, a key component to remaining ahead in our industry is the trend specialists. The work they do in forecasting and studying emerging trends is vital to our ongoing success, especially as buyers are increasingly looking for variety in colour, material, and finish. To pass on this valuable information to consumers, we also develop regular blog content that explores upcoming themes and how readers can keep their homes up-to-date.” Despite the outbreak of COVID-19, Blinds Direct has still managed to prosper during these difficult and uncertain times thanks to its online presence. “In 2019, UK buyers spent over £150m on made to measure blinds online. This growth has continued throughout 2020 and the start of 2021. Fortunately, we have been able to capitalise on this trend as our business model allows the customer to measure and fit the blinds themselves. This straightforward approach involves buyers following comprehensive “how to” guides found on the website, then measuring and ordering their dream made to measure product before the fitting process. Ultimately, this approach reduces costs and the need for a sales home appointment, it’s all in the customers’ hands. “The market is currently dominated by four companies and we have made significant inroads into market share throughout 2020. During the uncertainty of 2020 and the pandemic, greater numbers of consumers switched their spending to online, boosting an already growing retail trend. Blinds Direct has certainly benefitted from the migration to online shopping. Furthermore, the home furnishings market in particular has experienced a positive impact in sales throughout the pandemic, with consumers spending more time at home and diverting their income towards domestic improvements.” Bringing the interview to a close, Darren signs off by commenting on Blinds Direct’s future prospects. “2020 was a year of significant growth for Blinds Direct with people spending more time at home and investing in their spaces to make them the nicest joint living-working environments possible. During the year, we took on more employees and launched a series of exciting new products which we hope to build on as the pandemic eases in 2021 and beyond.” Company: Blinds Direct Contact: Andrew Peacock, Marketing Executive – Content & Outreach Website: u k