Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Office Furniture Dealers market remains fiercely competitive

The overall UK office furniture market has been through a sustained difficult trading period, with the market declining substantially in 2009/10. However, it has recovered somewhat since then, with sales reaching an estimated £665m in 2013.

There is still a surplus of supply capacity over demand, despite some well-known companies having ceased to trade, and this has resulted in suppliers having to cut prices further to maintain share.

The two main distribution channels for office furniture are via the dealer network, accounting for 44% of the market, or directly to end users, with around a quarter of the market. Retail furnishing groups and miscellaneous outlets account for 20% of the market, whilst superstores and mail order sales account for the remaining 11%.

The office furniture dealers’ sector is extremely fragmented with an estimated 2,000 to 2,100 branches in the UK, largely single branch enterprises. Dealers source their furniture mainly from UK based manufacturers, although they have increasingly used importers to supplement their offering in recent years.

The majority of dealers source their products from individual manufacturers and this enables them to offer a comprehensive range of products at different price points, however, some dealers have close links with individual suppliers, usually with the larger companies. Having good quality products with enhanced features is the most important factor when dealers are looking for a supplier and this is particularly true of the premium sector, where it is important to differentiate from other distribution channels in order to avoid direct price comparison.

The supply chain in the market is likely to experience some changes, with further growth in the SOHO market benefiting the less traditional channels of supply, such as multiple furnishing retailers, superstores, mail order and the Internet in the short to medium term future. Competition is expected to be relatively intense due to the furniture multiples offering a wide range of flat pack products at lower prices. Growth in this sector may entice new entrants into the market, although this is more likely to be on the manufacturing side, rather than in the retail sector.

The dealers’ market is expected to show modest growth in the next few years, increasing from an estimated £293m in 2013 to £318m in 2018. Although the share of the market held by dealers is forecast to decline to 42% by the end of the period, growth in the overall market should more than offset that decline.

Keith Taylor, Director of AMA Research said: “The dealers’ channel is expected to see low-level growth over the next few years, though it is expected that their market will remain challenging. Retailers, such as IKEA, Argos and Tesco, together with Internet suppliers are likely to be joined by other multiple retailers and are expected to increase their share of the market using catalogues and the Internet to support their nationwide chains of outlets.”

The ‘Office Furniture Dealers Market Report - 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 www.amaresearch.co.uk or by calling 01242 235724.

Friday, September 19, 2014

Explosive growth in the UK LED Lighting market

In 2013, the UK LED lighting market was estimated to be worth £330 million at manufacturers’ selling prices (MSP). This incorporates all finished, mains-operated LED lighting products, domestic and non-domestic used within construction and building.

The LED lighting market is currently experiencing an explosion in growth as the new technology becomes more widely accepted in the mainstream lighting market, further encouraged by energy cost savings and CO2 concerns, driven by legislative changes. 

The market is largely reliant on total system upgrades and new installation applications. Non-domestic end users dominated in 2013, accounting for 95% of the market in terms of value. Infrastructure is the leading sector within LED lighting with many councils replacing or planning to replace conventional street lighting with LED lighting, attracted by significant energy cost savings, lower CO2 output and long life cycles.

The Leisure & Entertainment and Health & Education sectors have been high early adopters of LED lighting and will continue to be major end use sectors in the near to medium term. Retail use is growing strongly whilst office, industrial and domestic use will expand over a longer time period.

In 2013, the LED lighting market was characterised mainly by sales of LED luminaires, accounting for an estimated 75% of the market, with the rest of the market made up by replacement LED lamps and LED controls and accessories. The use of this technology for lighting often requires installation of specific luminaires in order to achieve the full benefits. However, product development within LEDs is largely focused on development of replacement and retrofit products, greater efficiency and improved colour rendering index (CRI).

Distribution is led by direct sales as many manufacturers introduce, and have a better understanding of, the new technology, but this will change longer term. This channel is further supported by the dominance of larger public sector projects, which tend to source directly from manufacturers. Electrical wholesalers and specialist distributors are also significant players and their share is likely to grow as the technology becomes more widely established and used by the electrical contractors more widely. Retailers, including DIY, supermarket, and high street stores are the principal suppliers to the domestic market.

The supply of LED products is led by five main suppliers who are estimated to account for around 80% of the market. The remainder of the market is fragmented comprising many second and third tier specialist and smaller firms.

The average price of LED lighting products has fallen in the last 12 months driven by the growing volumes of sales, manufacturing techniques and increasing competition in the UK market. However, LED products remain significantly more costly than many alternatives restricting volume sales, particularly in the domestic sector.

The LED lighting market is expected to continue to experience significant growth as the new technology further penetrates the lighting market. This is likely to be supported in the short-medium term by government cutbacks hitting public sector budgets and prompting investment in technologies which provide reductions in long term running costs. 

The government is also committed to promoting energy efficient products, through their use within public sector projects and through the introduction and strengthening of energy conservation and monitoring legislation. However, the lack of product standards in the market has led to some consumer reluctance to purchase LED lamps due to poor experiences with lower quality products in the past. This may continue to restrict growth in the short term.

“In the medium term, as the commercial and increasingly the domestic sectors utilise the new technology, and with higher volumes of housing required and increasingly sophisticated, task orientated lighting used across all markets, LED lighting will see high volume growth supported by a wider range of sectors” said Keith Taylor, Director of AMA Research. ”We expect the market to grow rapidly until 2018, when the it is estimated to be worth in excess of £1bn.”

The ‘LED Lighting Market Report - 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 www.amaresearch.co.uk or by calling 01242 235724.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

UK Water Saving Plumbing Products Market growing rapidly

The UK water saving plumbing products market is estimated at £164 million at Manufacturers Selling Prices (MSP) in 2013, according to a new report by AMA Research.

During the period 2009-2012, the market for water saving plumbing products was relatively flat - in line with the difficult economic situation at this time. However, since 2013 the market for water saving plumbing products has seen an increase, with demand picking up as the economy and new housebuilding levels improve. The core product sectors of the UK water saving plumbing products market are water efficient bathroom products (87%) and water recycling systems (13%).

Water efficient bathroom products are distributed through a wide range of channels. The main distribution channel continues to be merchants with the DIY multiples also holding a substantial share. Other channels include bathroom specialists and online retailers. The vast majority of water recycling systems are distributed either through plumbing and drainage merchants or direct via water recycling specialists. There are also a growing number of online retailers operating in this market sector.

There is an increasing awareness and demand for water saving products in UK homes and businesses. Demands for water are continuing to rise and maintaining supplies to meet these demands is becoming increasingly difficult. The development of new housing in areas of water stress, population growth and a doubling in the number of single person households since the 1970’s have increased demand for water.

In addition, there has been a significant growth in the number of second bathrooms, en-suites and cloakrooms. In 2013, it is estimated that around 22% of all UK properties have two or more bathrooms and around 41% have two or more cloakroom / WC facilities.

The future performance of the water saving plumbing products market is likely to be driven by government legislative changes and growing concerns and attitudes towards water usage and its impact on the environment. The compulsory requirement for water meter installations in new housing and the introduction of The Water Label as standard on water-using bathroom products from summer 2014 will also increase awareness among householders of the benefits of water saving products.

“The replacement of inefficient WCs in particular will be motivated by more widespread water metering and the rising cost of water. Nearly two thirds of water is used in the bathroom either for showering, hand washing/bathing or flushing the toilet. With around 7 million inefficient high flush WCs still in use in the UK, there is a significant replacement opportunity that could achieve substantial water savings.” said Keith Taylor, Director at AMA Research. “Furthermore, most new-build schools, colleges, offices, government buildings, multi-residential and retail buildings will be designed to meet a higher BREEAM rating.”

Digital technology will also become more prevalent in UK bathrooms and play an important role in sustainability. For example, water efficient bathroom products that operate automatically with electronic sensors and digital systems that allow water flow to be controlled and run for a set period of time.

By 2018, the market value is forecast to be around £220 million, which represents an increase of around 35% compared to the market size in 2013.

The ‘Water Saving Plumbing Products Market Report – UK 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 www.amaresearch.co.uk or by calling 01242 235724.

Friday, September 05, 2014

Event Equipment Hire market to grow by 23% over the next 5 years

The UK market for event equipment hire is estimated to be worth some £560m in 2013, according to a new report by AMA Research. Good weather in 2013, particularly over the key months of the year, benefited the events sector and consequently the event hire sector.

The UK has a well-developed infrastructure of event destinations, venues and service suppliers, and the market does not appear to have been impacted by the economic downturn to the same extent as many other product and service sectors, though corporate events have seen a decline.

The market was boosted significantly in 2012 due to the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee and the London 2012 Olympic Games and related events. While good weather provided a boost to the market in 2013, some post-Olympic readjustment meant that the market size fell marginally during the year compared to the peak in 2012. However, underlying growth remains strong with prospects for 2014 positive, given the reasonable weather.

It is estimated that the exhibitions & trade show sector accounts for the largest share of the event market at more than 50%. Other key sectors include sports, music, festivals & cultural events, corporate hospitability and ‘other events’ such as charity events and hobby festivals. The largest equipment hire sectors are estimated to be staging, structures & seating, and portable buildings & sanitation, which have a combined share of 50-60% of the market.

Other important hire sectors are power generation & climate control, audio-visual & lighting, signage, traffic & crowd control, security & portable access, interiors and access equipment & other plant. The sector has seen some changes in recent years as event organisers improve standards of safety, comfort and sanitation, as well as investing in better AV equipment to enhance the visitor experience – all factors driving growth in equipment hire.

“2014 has been positive for the event hire sector and the market is forecast to grow steadily to 2018. Up-coming sporting events across the period, as well as a wide range of music concerts & festivals, exhibitions & trade shows and corporate events, are expected to boost the equipment hire market to over £600m by the end of the forecast period.” said Andrew Hartley, Director of AMA Research. “While adverse weather can impact negatively on the market, developments in the climate control and structures product sectors have led to outdoor events being less dependent on the prevailing weather.”

The ‘Event Equipment Hire Market Report - 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 www.amaresearch.co.uk or by calling 01242 235724.

Thursday, September 04, 2014

Online distribution of garden products set to double by 2018

In contrast to the overall garden products market, online gardening sales have experienced substantial levels of growth in recent years and the internet is by far the fastest growing distribution channel for garden products. In its newly published report on this sector, AMA Research estimates that the Internet garden products distribution market is now worth over £300m at retail prices.

Consumer shopping behaviour is changing, influenced by digital technology, and many non-specialist suppliers such as garden centres, store-based garden product retailers and mail order/ catalogue companies are increasingly entering the online retail market. Use of mobile phones and tablets is also growing rapidly and some non-specialists have seen rapid growth in the ‘click and collect’ service.

Selling over the Internet tends to favour some product categories over others, with garden leisure, garden equipment and horticulture being key products for sales online. There are also significant differences in mix between the specialists and non-specialist online retailers by product group. For example, garden sundries and chemicals are dominated by the non-specialists, whilst the specialist e-tailers compete well in garden leisure and horticulture.

The Internet garden market is still relatively immature and is expected to continue to show strong annual growth levels, although inevitably the pace of growth will slow down as the market matures. Taking these issues into account, it is estimated that the UK Internet garden products market will be worth an estimated £744 million in 2018, more than twice its current size.

Andrew Hartley, Director of AMA Research said: “The Internet has removed barriers to entry previously enjoyed by traditional store-based retailers and other suppliers, which has allowed small and medium sized specialist e-tailers to enter the garden products market, creating a new competitive dynamic. By 2018, it is estimated that the Internet garden products market will account for an estimated 15% of the total garden products market, up from around 8% in 2013.”

There are a number of key factors affecting the future prospects for the Internet garden market in the UK, including consumer spending levels, the pace of economic recovery and overall trends in online e-retail shopping. Demand for garden products is also heavily affected by the weather, and as a result there are likely to be fluctuations of sales growth and decline on an annual basis.

The ‘Internet Garden Market Report - 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 www.amaresearch.co.uk or by calling 01242 235724.