Friday, October 24, 2014

UK market for Upholstered Furniture to reach £1.9bn by 2018

In 2013 the Upholstered Furniture market was worth an estimated £1.6bn (at MSP), with the domestic market accounting for around 90% in value terms and the contract sector 10%. The financial crisis and the ensuing decline in the housing market had a serious impact on consumer confidence, with ‘large ticket’ items suffering badly, particularly where loan facilities were involved. As a mature market, the high level of price competition amongst major retailers has also restricted value growth.

Although sales of 3 piece suites have declined, suites consisting of a sofa and at least one other piece still account for 60% of the market, with combinations of 2 sofas becoming a popular choice. Sales of single sofas and convertibles represent an important part of the market, with a combined share of around a third, while armchairs sold separately account for a smaller share of the market. Sales of action furniture have also increased slowly and now account for almost 20% of the market, with most of the major manufacturers including such products in their ranges.

The share of the total market held by leather furniture continued to grow until the recessionary period, supported by the wide range of styles and designs and the increasing use of leather in other furniture sectors, home furnishings and accessories. The penetration rate has declined since then, although most of this decline has been offset by the increasing popularity of upholstery combining both fabric and leather finishes.

Imports of upholstered furniture reached their peak in 2006 at a level of £797.8m, but have since fallen to £710.3m in 2013 – around 40% of the market – with imports from China now accounting for the major share, although Italy remains an important source, despite declining exports to the UK. Exports have increased steadily since 2010, reaching £71.4m in 2013.

The supply structure of the upholstered furniture market has changed dramatically over recent years following the sale of the Christie-Tyler subsidiaries. The furniture multiples continue to dominate the distribution structure with almost 50% of the market.

The development of the market is likely to continue to be influenced by the high level of price competition, although sectors such as leather/fabric furniture and action furniture are expected to gain share. Sofas and chairs are also expected to gain share at the expense of 3 piece suites, in line with the growth of single person households, combined with the trend towards smaller accommodation.

Multi-functional furniture has made inroads into a number of furniture sectors in recent years, with storage an increasingly important issue. Tailored designs and clean lines are expected to remain popular in line with contemporary trends.

“The value of imported products within the upholstered furniture market has increased in the last three years, although the rate of penetration has not increased and this should provide some respite to UK based manufacturers, who seem to have held their own in those years, although pressures on price are sure to continue for both suppliers and retailers” said Keith Taylor, Director of AMA Research.

Total sales of upholstered furniture are forecast to reach £1.9bn by 2018, following consistent growth in the 2014-2018 period.

The ‘Upholstered Furniture and Beds 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 or by calling 01242 235724.

No comments: