Friday, August 08, 2014

Positive market prospects for kitchen and bathroom distributors

Overall, conditions in UK kitchen and bathroom markets have remained difficult over the last five years, with low levels of housebuilding - and a difficult housing market generally - significantly affecting these sectors, particularly bathrooms. However, housebuilding levels increased in 2013 supporting modest value growth and the kitchen and bathroom distributors’ market was estimated to be worth £840 million at distributors’ selling prices at the end of 2013.

In 2013, the total UK kitchen and bathroom products market is estimated to have reached a value of £6,027m at DSP, and the distributors’ share of this market in 2013 was approximately 14%.

Increasing raw material costs and higher transport costs have impacted on margins in the sector over the last 2 years. Generally however, a number of distributors have avoided significant losses by focusing on logistics to reduce transport costs and own brand product ranges offering higher margins.

National distributors account for around 75% of the market, with large regional distributors making up most of the rest of the market. A large proportion of distributors’ sales are bathroom products, with around 30% of sales falling into this category.
The growth of showering continues to add pressure to the bath sector, with additional bathroom installations such as en suites favouring shower enclosures and wet room areas. Distributors’ share of the kitchen furniture market has remained fairly stable in recent years, with distributors continuing to supply all sectors of the market.

Sales to kitchen and bathroom specialists dominate the distributors’ market, accounting for 40%. Builders’ merchants are also a key customer accounting for 29% of the market. Other customers include DIY Outlets, other retailers such as department stores, electrical independent retailers and others including sub contractors and end users such as local authorities or housebuilders.

“The kitchen and bathroom supply chain has changed in recent years, with growth of Internet retailers in the plumbing and bathroom sectors, allied to more difficult conditions in some of the domestic contract sectors of the market.” said Keith Taylor, Director of AMA Research. “With more positive market prospects in the future, it seems likely that the Internet channel with continue to prosper, benefitting the kitchen and bathroom distributors”

The report estimates that the market will reach a value of around £1.1bn in 2018.

The ‘Kitchen and Bathroom Supply Chain Market Report – Focus on Distributors - 2014-2018 Analysis’ report is published by AMA Research, a leading provider of market research and consultancy services within the construction and home improvement markets. The report is available now and can be ordered online at or by calling 01242 235724.

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