IN CONVERSATION WITH DELIA LACHANCE FROM WESTWING

vor 6 months

The journey of Westwing, a transformative force in the furniture industry, is a tale guided by the visionary Delia Lachance.

Her background as an editor at renowned publications like “Elle” and “Elle Decoration” ignited her passion for interior design, introducing her to an array of global brands. It was this exposure that sparked a unique vision – to create an online platform exuding emotion, positivity, and distinction, echoing the fashion world’s online presence. Delia envisioned a space where style meets affordability, prompting the birth of Westwing. In this interview, she shares the ethos behind Westwing’s inception, its commitment to inclusivity, sustainability, and the evolving landscape of furniture design.

What inspired the inception of Westwing? Was there a specific catalyst or vision that motivated you to start this venture in the furniture industry?
Before Westwing, I worked as an editor at “Elle” and “Elle Decoration” and always had a passion for interior design. Because of my work, I came in contact with many cool interior brands all over the world. But none of them were online, although fashion has had an online presence for a long time. I wanted to do something online that is different, emotional, and full of positivity. It was very important for me that the website looks nice, inspires, and is fun for shopping. A place to find stylish and affordable interior pieces online.

In what ways does Westwing aim to make furniture more accessible to a broader audience? How do you ensure inclusivity in your offerings?
Westwing, as a premium Home & Living brand, does not only offer products but tells their story, shows the latest trends and gives our customers tips on how to decorate their homes. As a premium one-stop shop we offer the whole world of Home & Living in one place and make brands accessible for everyone. Our customers can not only discover international brands, but at the same time, we also offer smaller brands the opportunity to reach a large target group through our channels. With our own „Westwing Collection” we additionally offer stylish products at very good prices. Inclusivity also comes from the wide range of products that can be found at Westwing. Next to large furniture, we also offer many accessories that immediately give a trendy touch to your home.

Could you share insights into Westwing’s approach to design? How do you strike a balance between unique, stylish designs and their practicality for everyday use?
For us it is important, that our products are not only beautiful but also functional. Our sofa Sofia by Westwing Collection, for example, is super chic and perfect when you have friends over for a glass of wine or a cocktail. Due to its modularity, it will fit into any space. Also, having two kids, it is important to have pieces of furniture, where you can store products and therefore easily clean up a space, such as our Alto with the lid. We also look at the longevity and sustainability aspect of each product, with a unique design for our design lovers. Therefore, premium materials that are durable are also super important to us. These are all things we consider throughout the design process of our Westwing Collection products. We want them to fit into everyone’s life.

Balancing quality and affordability is often a challenge in the furniture market. How does Westwing maintain both aspects to cater to various consumer segments?
We have the ambition to provide products with great design, high quality, and affordability. Developing the collections with our in-house design team is great fun and they are very well received by our customers – which in turn makes me very happy.

Sustainability has gained significance in the furniture industry. How does Westwing integrate sustainable practices into its products without compromising accessibility?
Our sustainability approach is based on the belief that our customers can choose to live both beautifully and sustainably. For our Westwing Collection, we use materials with sustainable attributes. We focus on organic cotton (67% of cotton is more sustainably sourced), FSC-certified wood (74% of wood-based products are made with FSC-certified wood), and often work with recycled materials and natural fibers such as jute and kapok. For us, it is super important that we optimize packaging, minimize our carbon footprint, and are very transparent about our sustainability efforts. 47% share of Westwing Collection products online adhere to our sustainable label “We Care”. Our priorities include continuing to improve the sustainability credentials of our products — especially through our Westwing Collection, where we can have the most impact, as well as collaborating with our suppliers and partners to reach our ambitious targets.

What do you envision as the future trends in furniture design and accessibility? How is Westwing preparing to adapt to these changes?
Of course, sustainability will continue to be a key focus. It is so important to us that we have included it as one of the pillars of our company strategy. Also, we see the importance in technology; user experience and AI will be key points.

How does Westwing enhance the consumer experience, especially concerning accessibility, ease of purchase, and delivery?
This year, we merged the two online shop platforms Westwing and WestwingNow. By merging them, we are simplifying the shopping experience for our customers, and making purchases easier. Our Westwing studio is an amazing team of interior designers that develop beautiful interior concepts for our customers—game changers for a room or even an entire house. Additionally, we have our own Westwing Delivery Service in some cities in Germany. With our own delivery service, we have higher delivery reliability with less risk of transport damages and ensure great customer interaction with our passionate and highly skilled delivery team.

The pandemic has reshaped how we view our living spaces. How has Westwing adapted to the changing needs and preferences of customers during this time, and what trends do you foresee in post-pandemic interior design?
During the pandemic, everyone discovered their homes in a different light, experiencing them in a way that I believe has given them greater significance. There’s likely been an increased focus, and perhaps everyone has become better at cooking. I believe the importance of home has gained prominence, with everyone now appreciating it even more. Now the focus is being set on keeping the home beautiful and making little changes as we are able to host again and have friends and family over. Looking ahead to post-pandemic interior design trends, there will be a continued emphasis on multifunctional furniture and adaptable spaces. Sustainability will continue to play a central role. Customers now also place a higher value on expressing their individual style and preferences in their living spaces.

What personally drives you in your mission to make furniture more accessible and stylish for everyone? Are there any personal stories or experiences that have significantly influenced your approach at Westwing?
During my time at Elle, we showcased brands that were often too expensive. Before Westwing, when furnishing my own homes, I found it difficult to find something beautiful and stylish on my budget. As a premium one-stop-shop it is however really important to have products from our Westwing Collection and from premium design brands. Also, I love traveling and it always inspires me – I meet a lot of interesting people. When I am back at the desk after my travels I always come back with a lot of fresh energy and ideas. Also talking to people around me, my family, friends or colleagues always brings inspiration and influences my approach at Westwing.

The relaunch has merged the two platforms, Westwing and WestwingNow. How has this changed the customer shopping experience and how has it been improved? Are there any new functions or benefits offered by this integration?
We wanted to offer our customers an even more intuitive shopping experience, so we decided to merge our two online shop platforms Westwing and WestwingNow. For us it is still super important to offer a curated selection of both the Westwing Collection and premium third-party designer brands such as Artemide, Kartell and Georg Jensen. Now, both offerings are available under one roof, allowing for a single checkout process and resulting in a unified shopping experience that blends daily sales and permanent shop assortments.

Image courtesy WESTWING

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