The UK commercial washrooms market increased by 3% in 2014 compared to 2013, reflecting the improving market conditions post-recession within the non-domestic construction industry. The UK market is now showing some signs of recovery, following a static period over the past 5 years. The upward trend is driven by stronger RMI activity in non-residential sectors, allied to more positive new work activity.
Washroom panel systems continue to account for the largest sector of the market, followed by sanitaryware, brassware, showers/mixers and baths. It is estimated that around two thirds of commercial washroom products are distributed via trade channels such as builders / plumbers’ merchants and distributors. The remainder represents mainly direct sales from supplier to end-user and includes online.
The recession saw the emergence of more cost effective solutions within the commercial washroom environment, to cater for a range of budgets. At the same time, it is apparent that the trend towards higher value products with contemporary design has continued at the more premium end of the marketplace, driven by the private sector, such as upmarket hotels and leisure schemes. Applications include brass fittings and personalised logos to provide a customised feel. Manufacturers also appear increasingly focused upon specification-led work, providing total solutions for each application, such as education, healthcare and offices.
There has also been an emphasis upon increased functionality within the commercial washrooms market, including greater use of intelligent technology to control water flow and temperature, as well as baths and showers with sensory options to provide a personalised experience. There is greater incorporation of energy efficient and water saving solutions across the commercial washrooms market, driven by legislation and the introduction of the Water Label.
“The high level of price competition, which is currently a feature of this market, is expected to continue, potentially curbing overall value growth within the marketplace. However, manufacturers will seek to offset this by focussing upon added value design, quality and performance” said Keith Taylor, Director of AMA Research. “The baths sector is likely to continue to face competition from showers, which are becoming more popular, and the more muted performance of the health sector and the potential trend towards smaller premises with more local delivery will exacerbate this trend.”
The overall commercial washrooms market is likely to show year on year growth over the next 4 years, as key application areas for commercial washrooms, such as entertainment & leisure and offices, benefit from private investment in RMI activity and the construction market as a whole sees gradual improvement. The entertainment and leisure sector has been relatively resilient to the recession and growth in the budget hotels sector has helped to counter balance the decline in food service and the larger scale sports facilities that were associated with the Olympics. However, continuing economic uncertainty due to high levels of debt within the Eurozone and planned budget cuts within the public sector, especially in health and education, may all restrict rates of growth.
The market is forecast to have increased by around 11% in 2019, to reach a value of around £340m at manufacturers’ selling prices.
The ‘Commercial Washrooms Market Report – UK 2015-2019 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.