AMA Research are pleased to announce the publication of the 11th edition of the report: 'Domestic Bedroom Furniture Market Report - UK 2012-2016 Analysis'. The report includes up to date information on recent trends and issues that continue to impact on the market.
The market has followed an interesting path in recent years, with a relatively static performance in the middle of the decade followed by a downturn in the market in 2008 and 2009, in common with many other consumer durable markets. Sales since then have been broadly stable in value terms, although volumes have continued to decline.
In the case of the bedroom furniture sector, the market has been more badly affected than the kitchen sector, perhaps because of the higher profile of the kitchen in consumers' minds or the continuing promotion by the national retailers involved in that market. The bedroom market tends to be driven to a greater extent by need, rather than desire, as in the case of the kitchen furniture market for example, although both sectors have suffered in recent years.
The market has been difficult and highly competitive and the report examines the various aspects underpinning different sectors and driving change in the industry and assesses the likely future prospects for the sector through to 2016.
Alstons (Cabinets), Andrena Furniture, Bebecar (UK), Canburg, Carlton Furniture, Charles Barr Furniture, Chartley Furniture Design, Corndell Furniture Co, Crown Products (Kent), Daval Furniture, Dean House, Ercol Furniture, Eric Bates & Sons, Flexa Furniture, Gautier, H. Morris & Co, Hammonds Furniture, Hulsta Furniture (UK), Kingstown Holdings, Neville Johnson, Paragon Interior Furniture, Sharps Bedrooms, Spacemaker Bedrooms, Stompa UK, Strachan Furniture Makers, The Symphony Group, Thuka Furniture, Whiteleaf Furniture, William Ball, Willis Gambier (UK), Woodberry Bros and Haines, Wren Kitchens and Bathrooms.
The UK Bedroom Furniture market was estimated to be worth approximately £575m (MSP) in 2011, representing approximately 12% of the overall Domestic Furniture market. Following substantial growth in the early 2000's, the market became more difficult and as the decade progressed experienced significant declines in 2008 (4%) and 2009 (6%). As a result the share of the overall furniture market has declined since 2002.
The onset of the housing crisis towards the end of 2007 and the impact of the global credit crunch, resulting in the world economic recession, reduced levels of consumer confidence. Other pressures within the domestic furniture market have included the rapid penetration of low cost imports from the Far East and Eastern Europe, which has driven down prices and margins.
Other constraints include increased competition from a number of high profile players, including IKEA, Argos, Shop Direct, together with threats from newcomers, such as Tesco and Asda. Growing competition in a declining market is also reflected in the increasing number of liquidations in the sector, both at manufacturer and retail level, although no major retailer has failed, since MFI, a market leader in this sector, went into liquidation.
Many of the UK fitted furniture suppliers are vertically integrated companies, involved in the design, manufacture and installation of their own furniture and often marketed through their own retail outlets or via concessions in other stores
Whilst imports have increased significantly in the last decade and currently account for around 69% of the bedroom furniture market, most fitted furniture is manufactured in the UK. However, not all imports are in the budget sector, since Germany, Italy and Denmark accounted for 13% of imports in 2011. This compares with China, whose exports of bedroom furniture to the UK were increasing annually until 2011 and reached £136.4m in that year, representing 34.3% of UK total imports in this category.
Modular furniture continues to be popular and the trend towards smaller houses and households will sustain this trend, as demand for clever storage solutions continues to grow. Solid wood furniture or finishes remain in high demand in the medium to upper sector of the market, however, the variety and range of contemporary styles in alternative woods is also increasing, as is the demand for painted finishes.
Most of any future growth within the bedroom furniture sector is expected to come from the lower end of the market and in the short term this sector may gain at the expense of the medium to higher priced end, driven by companies such as IKEA, Argos and Tesco, with their ranges of affordable and innovative products, together with the expanding variety of cheap imports available in other outlets. Internet and catalogue retailers will increase their share of overall sales, and most types of outlet will increase the proportion of their products sold via the Internet.
In general, it appears that short term prospects for the next 5 years are likely to prove relatively difficult for the overall furniture industry, with forecasts showing little or very modest volume growth. The bedroom furniture market is forecast to show slow but increasing growth in the next few years, reaching a value of £650m in 2016, compared to an estimated £575m in 2011.