Lombok launches Swyft – sofa in a box concept
Last year Retail Insider had an early look at Tottenham Court Road-based Lombok’s new Swyft range of easy assembly sofas but it has taken until now to officially launch the range which owner Keiran Hewkin hopes will disrupt the very traditional world of furniture retailing.
According to Hewkin “The average person moves ten times and the thing that is most likely to have to be jettisoned every single time is the sofa because it just won’t fit in and out”. No matter how well-loved the sofa it is often not worth trying to move it and it is this problem that Swyft is trying to alleviate especially in metropolitan areas where flats are more the norm.
Speaking to Retail Insider Hewkin explained the design reasoning behind the concept “If we started again from scratch designing sofas today, no one would ever make them in one piece and that’s where the idea for Swyft came from”.
In terms of delivery it’s hard to think of a more labour intensive, wasteful delivery process than the usual way of getting a sofa to its end destination. Not many of them fit in a lorry at any one time, two men are always needed to carry it, and if it has a box around it then most of that huge box will be filled with air. But till now if consumers have chosen a flatpack sofa for convenience they have arguably had to compromise on the look and quality of it while potentially spending hours on fiddly assembly and possibly waiting for numerous different parts to come before beginning.
Flat-pack but not as we know it
Hewkin hopes that the Swyft range will change the perception of flatpack sofas. “This is a one-man delivery and anyone, absolutely anyone can build this in five minutes plus they look great” he claims. The key to the innovation is an innovative new clip mechanism designed and patented by Lombok. Each sofa has nine of them meaning that no tools are required to assemble a Swyft sofa at all. As the company notes “Consumers who would traditionally steer clear of anything ‘flat-pack’ can look to Swyft with confidence and know the frustrating days of having to find the right screw or part to fit the pieces together are officially over.”
Fulfilment is via Amazon and Lombok worked with Amazon to ensure deliveries are despatched the same day or day after. The sustainable box is also ticked because the packaging is all recycled and recyclable while Lombok works with Trees For Cities to ensure that two trees are planted for every one used in manufacture.
Retailing at £995 for the three-seater, £895 for the two-seater and £595 for the armchair, the range comes in six fabrics with either a velvet or linen finish. Hewkin believes it is realistically priced to become a mass-market product. “One department store bought 100 as soon as they saw them. I have no idea where this idea could go” he says, “let’s wait and see”.