Friday, November 07, 2014

Consistent growth in Bed Market despite intense price competition

The market for beds and mattresses fell steadily in the 2008-2011 period, before showing consistent growth to reach an estimated value of £650m in 2013.

This market is mature and as such is experiencing high levels of price competition, in particular from imported products. Faster replacement cycles and trading up to higher value products are some of the factors that have contributed to market growth in recent years.

Divans account for around a third of the market by value, although market share has been eroded steadily by the strong growth in demand for bedsteads, including wooden, upholstered and metal bedsteads. Overall bedsteads currently account for around 28%, with growth supported by a wider range of product options.

Mattresses sold separately have grown to account for around a quarter of the market in value terms. This growth has been underpinned by the growth in the higher value pocket sprung sector and by the growing popularity of other materials, such as memory foam. Mattresses are one specific area of the beds market where opportunities for value growth exist, with consumers trading up to higher quality products. In addition, the growth of bedsteads has also supported the demand for higher quality mattresses.

During the last 5 years there has been a marked trend away from single to double beds and, in particular, to king sized beds. This growth can be attributed largely to falls in the price of double beds relative to single beds, with prices being driven down as a result of the high level of price competition within the market.

The beds sector is dominated by several large suppliers. Total imports of beds and mattresses have increased steadily in the last few years, reaching £164.2m in 2013, with imports of metal bedsteads accounting for 53% of bed imports by value in that year. Since declining to £23.7m in 2006 exports have expanded steadily to reach £52m in 2013. The distribution of beds is dominated by the furniture multiples with 46% of the market.

Total sales of beds are forecast to reach £760m by 2018, with the market showing steady and increasing growth during that period. This market is also likely to benefit from investment in the contract sector, particularly in the hotel and leisure sector, although this may be offset by reduced Government expenditure in the education and health sectors.

Manufacturers are likely to continue to add value with features such as integral side tables, storage and upholstered bedsteads, particularly in leather, along with higher quality mattresses, in order to combat the declining average prices in the beds sector.

“The mature nature of the beds market has resulted in the emergence of niche sectors, which are expected to support volume growth in the near future, as prospects for the UK economy improve. In addition, the market will be supported by higher levels of replacement purchasing, added-value purchases and some value growth at the upper end of the market” said Keith Taylor, Director of AMA Research.

However, the beds and mattress market is mature and heavily reliant on manufacturers encouraging shorter replacement cycles. As a result the development of value added features and the communication of these benefits to the consumer are likely to continue to be key elements in terms of product development and the stimulation of early replacement sales. Parts of the contract sector are not expected to experience the high levels of growth seen in the past, as expenditure in sectors such as health, education and the MOD has been reduced as part of the Government’s austerity measures.

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

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