This year, companies have invested significantly in office space redevelopment, in the context of the limited volume of new buildings delivered and the majority of existing lease extensions, to promote the return to office work and employee engagement in the post-pandemic period . 32% of the total volume of projects delivered by COS were redevelopments, up 7 percentage points from the previous year, while 50% of total revenues were generated by construction services.

The rest of COS’s business volume is sales of furniture and carpets from global manufacturers and locally sourced custom furniture. Emerging segments such as the medical, hospitality, educational and industrial sectors continued to invest in interior design, with COS delivering in 2023 the new children’s hospital built by Asociatia Dăruiește Viață la Marie Curie, the new Radisson BLU hotels in Brașov and Bucharest and various interior spaces for ASE and Babes Bolyai universities from Cluj and Bucharest. In the industrial segment, COS has doubled the volume of delivered offices, in locations such as Oradea (Plexus), Timișoara (Hirschmann Automotive, Hamilton, Continental) or Iași (Trutzi).

“Against the background of outdated stock and following the pandemic period, we expect the healthcare sector in particular to benefit from investments that modernize and transform the interiors of healthcare facilities into more comfortable and welcoming ones for patients. The industrial segment is another developing segment, along with hospitality and education, which is in continuous dynamics. Customers and visitors to these spaces are increasingly demanding, and this will certainly benefit the market, adding more competitiveness and ultimately leading to increasingly high-quality interior spaces,” says Cezar Scarlat, Managing Partner and co -founder SARMIS Capital, majority shareholder COS.

The average investment in interior fittings (designed and built interior space, including standard and bespoke furniture and flooring) varies between EUR 700-900/sq m, reaching up to EUR 1,100/sq m for the premium segment. There is a 15-20% increase in the average budget compared to the previous year, due to inflation, the increase in wages, the cost of raw materials, products and transport costs.

In 2023, COS increased its share of revenues obtained from the rental of owned co-working office spaces, MASIA (Bucharest) and Stables (Cluj), reaching 0.6 million euros, an increase of 60% compared to the previous year . The COS office space portfolio currently reaches a total of 4,200 sqm in 4 locations in Cluj, Bucharest, Timișoara and Iași.

1.8 million euros – continuous investments in 2023 and 2022

The company has invested a total of 1.8 million euros in the last two years in digital transformation, for the efficiency and optimization of work processes, in a new 1,600 sqm class A warehouse located in Chiajna, which improves the management of furniture stocks and carpets, as well as in its own research and development center in the northern area of Bucharest (MASIA).

COS is the first and only local active player to offer its clients the opportunity to use COS space as a temporary office while their offices are under construction and to test future work configurations before implementing them in their own space.

“In the context of effervescent activity in the business environment, most managers and company leaders are focused on increasing workplace performance and employee engagement. That is why COS has continued its investment strategy aimed at bringing real added value to the market, an excellent customer service system and streamlining operational capabilities,” emphasizes Christophe Weller, founding shareholder and CEO of COS.

A global Gallup study shows that employees are less engaged at work and feel more stressed: 77% of them are disengaged, while 44% of employees experience a lot of stress at work. In general, recent years bring serious challenges to the labor market in terms of productivity, work-life balance, and connection to company culture. Against this background, global Steelcase research shows that leaders are shifting their workplace priorities, with employee wellbeing (81%), sustainability (78%) and Diversity, Equality and Inclusion (76%) now among their main priorities.

Quality, sustainability and wellbeing: the key trends of 2024

The increased preference for quality, sustainable interiors is one of the major trends of the previous year, which will continue into 2024. This translates into increasingly frequent requests for better finishes or technology passively and actively incorporated into innovative products such as workspaces and user-configurable furniture (eg adjustable desks). In terms of sustainability, Interface and COS recycled 3,000 sqm of used carpet last year, while products incorporating ESG features, such as carbon-neutral seating or neutral and negative flooring solutions (which neutralize carbon emissions) were introduced both in Bucharest and in different locations in the country.

Custom furniture, made by local manufacturers, continues to be more and more in demand. Although the most important sales volume is recorded in the segment of standard, non-custom furniture, there is a substantial increase in the appetite for customized furniture solutions, made by local suppliers, with an increase in demand of more than 31% in the COS portfolio in 2023 compared to the previous year. Employee wellbeing is another major trend, with interior design solutions that support psychological and physical comfort seeing significant demand. Work spaces support the satisfaction of psychological needs through colors, lighting solutions, biophilic design or acoustic intimacy, physical comfort needs are ensured through ergonomic furniture solutions, height-adjustable desks or bar tables. Since last year, the COS portfolio has reached a total volume of over 2,850 clients and over 20,000 projects.

In 2023, the company delivered a significant number of design & built projects for active companies throughout the country, among which the most representative include The Access Group Timișoara, Kruk, Blackline, Kaizen, Globant Cluj, Hirshman Automotive, Astra Zeneca, A ON. Services, Cycleon Recare, Roland Berger, RetuRO, Quieisser Pharma. Active on the local market since 1998, COS is one of the largest suppliers of complete furnishing solutions for interior spaces in Romania and operates on the entire spectrum of the relevant market segments: the segment of office spaces, industrial spaces (interior furnishings in logistics parks and facilities industrial), hospitality (hotels, restaurants), healthcare (interiors for clinics and hospitals) and education (private and public schools).

COS has solid and long-term partnerships in Romania with suppliers such as Steelcase and Interface, international leaders in the furniture segments, respectively solutions for floors, but also with local manufacturers.