Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Downturn in department store sector and increasing price competition likely to impact upper sectors of household textiles market.

Having experienced overall growth of 13% between 2013 and 2017, the UK household textiles market has been underpinned by returning consumer confidence and sustained demand from contract applications. The outlook for 2018 is for a slowing in annual growth rate to around 1-2% reflecting growing pressures on consumer spending and fierce price competition which is constraining overall value growth, despite rising import prices. Both mature and highly competitive with high household penetration levels, the market remains highly dependent upon replacement sales, in domestic and contract end-use sectors.
The household textiles market is now clearly positioned within the wider fashionable homewares market, with greater co-ordination of colours across items to create a particular style. This is exemplified by entry to the homewares market of clothing and fashion brands which also appeal to a younger demographic, creating additional sales opportunities. Additionally, ‘breathability’, ‘climate control’, ‘hypoallergenic’ and ‘anti-allergy’ have all become mainstream choices for filled products such as pillows and duvets.
The product mix for household textiles is dominated by bedlinen, followed by filled products, bathroom textiles and table linen/kitchen towelling. Given the maturity of the market, the share mix for the products has shown little change over the review period. Import penetration rates have also remained high with both India and Pakistan having grown share of key product sectors between 2015 and 2017. The contract sector also represents a steady stream of sales opportunities for all household textiles products, specifically hospitality and healthcare, with growth in the care homes sector. Market value has however been affected by competitive pricing.
The supply chain remains highly fragmented although there has been some consolidation over the past few years with larger companies gradually expanding their portfolio of products. In addition, the distribution pattern for household textiles is continuing to evolve with greater use of “omni-channel” approach by leading channels within the domestic sector as well as the increasing penetration of the “discounters” into the household textiles market. However, the upper sectors of the market are likely to be impacted by the extremely challenging conditions currently facing the department store sectors, with both sales volumes and values affected by the programme of store closures by leading organisations

Jane Tarver of AMA Research said:
Future prospects for the household textiles market remain cautiously optimistic. The market is forecast to grow by around 6% 2018 and 2022, underpinned by sustained demand but with fierce price competition remaining a key characteristic. New UK trade deals are expected to be forged and operational by the end of the forecast period, thereby positively impacting upon UK consumer confidence, economic recovery and in turn the purchase of household textiles. Our forecast does however remain cautiously optimistic given the complex range of issues involved”
The degree of imports is expected to remain high across all sub-sectors and is therefore subject to fluctuations in exchange rates and raw material prices. However, UK suppliers may seek to maintain higher stock levels, in order to reduce lead times. Some may also seek to become more vertically integrated, taking processes in house, in order to combat rising import and overseas labour costs. The channels within the domestic distribution mix will also continue to evolve, based on the consumer perceptions of the convenience of ordering and delivery options. Coupled with the challenging conditions for key organisations in the upper market sectors, domestic distribution is likely to see a move to a more “omni-channel” approach with market volume increasing focused on the lower-mid market sectors.

The Household Textiles Market Report – UK 2018-2022is available now and can be ordered online at or by calling 01242 235724.

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Underfloor Heating Market - 5 Key Facts

  • In 2017, the UK underfloor heating market accounted for around 7% of the total heating systems sector.
  • Imports of UFH remain high, with some manufacturers sourcing components from abroad, although full assembly of UFH kits may take place within their own facility.
  • The domestic sector is currently a key driver of growth within the underfloor heating market, both for electric and water-based systems.
  • Product innovations have made UFH systems easier to install, broadening their appeal for the retrofit market. Low profile UFH options are now widely available.
  • The distribution of UFH continues to be dominated by direct supply, although the online sector continues to grow.
These facts have been extracted from AMA Research's 'Underfloor Heating Market Report - UK 2018-2022' available for purchase now. 

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Garden Products Distribution Market - 5 Key Facts

  • The market for garden products has grown by 16% between 2013 and 2017.
  • The Horticuture sector accounted for the largest proportion of sales, representing 23% of market value in 2017.
  • The DIY sector accounts for the majority of sales of garden products (31%), reflecting their diverse product range.
  • The Garden Centre sector is estimated to be worth £2 billion at RSP, allowing for recent price increase, due to the rising cost of imports.
  • Social media is expected to play a greater part in marketing activity across the various channels, with a view to building loyalty and to drive traffic in-store.
These facts have been extracted from AMA Research's 'Garden Products Distribution Market Report - UK 2018-2022' available for purchase now. 

Monday, October 15, 2018

Construction in the Higher Education and Student Accommodation Sector - 5 Key Facts

  • Current forecasts are for a substantial increase in capital investment, at over £17.1bn this is around 60% higher than the previous 4-year average.
  • In 2013, the private sector formed around 39% of supply, but in 2016 this increased to over 46%.
  • Only 18% of students are currently catered for in university-operated halls.
  • London is the most undersupplied area in the student property market.
  • The outlook for investment in higher education facilities and student accommodation remains positive, as student numbers expected to increase and demand is rising for higher specification facilities.
These facts have been extracted from AMA Research's 'Construction in the Higher Education and Student Accommodation Sector Report - UK 2018-2022' available for purchase now. 

Friday, October 12, 2018

Contract Floorcoverings Market - 5 Key Facts

  • Contract floorcoverings sales have grown steadily by 12% over the last 4 years.
  • The contract sector currently accounts for around 50% of the total floorcoverings market.
  • Sales of contract vinyl floorcoverings are estimated to have increased by 7% between 2015 and 2017.
  • Modular flooring, such as carpet tiles and LVT products, are becoming an increasingly prominent feature of the market.
  • Commercial buildings, including offices, are the largest end use sector, accounting for 24% of the market.
These facts have been extracted from AMA Research's 'Contract Floorcoverings Market Report - UK 2018-2022' available for purchase now. 

Thursday, October 04, 2018

Plumbers’ merchants market in the UK worth over £4.2bn

The plumbers’ merchants market was worth an estimated £4.2bn in 2017, representing growth of around 2% from 2016. The overall trend in recent years has been positive, and early indications for 2018 are for a continuation of the modest recovery experienced from Q3 2017 onwards, although there is still a degree of restructuring activity, as major players adapt to changing conditions and slowing growth in some key end use sectors.
Although the plumbers’ merchants market has experienced 5 years of growth since construction output recovered in 2013, there has been considerable variation in the rates of growth between the various end use sectors. Sectors that have been strong include housebuilding, while residential RMI activity, a significant sector for plumbing & heating materials, has been more modest. Some non-domestic sectors, such as infrastructure have remained positive, but in the education, commercial offices and healthcare sectors there was an overall fall in output in 2017.
Expectations are for more modest annual rates of growth to 2022, for both new construction and non-residential RMI. Skills shortages remain critical and are a major concern in the plumbing and heating sector, with the skills gap said to be one of the biggest threats facing the UK’s plumbing industry.
The plumbers merchants’ market, which comprises national, regional and local merchants, is dominated by four major merchant organisations, which together account for an estimated 65-70% share, in value terms. These firms operate via a number of subsidiaries, each supplying a range of plumbing and building products.
The main competitors for the merchants are the home improvement retail and specialist outlets, as well as manufacturers and suppliers that deal direct with the construction trade. There has been strong competition from alternative suppliers, particularly online companies, retail outlets and DIY multiples, which is being driven by a shift in customer buying behaviour, with online shopping via PCs and laptops - as well as via mobile phones and tablets - becoming increasingly popular among tradespeople.
Some of the major nationals have responded to recent challenges in the plumbing and heating sector by restructuring and streamlining their operations, which has led to a number of branch closures, as well as the opening of new, more efficient outlets, enhancement of online and/or multi-channel offerings and a stronger focus on digital technologies. This focus on e-commerce has helped to offset some of the shift to internet-only distributors.
Prospects for plumbers’ merchants are relatively positive, although current political uncertainties surrounding the UK’s exit from the EU and the consequences in terms of trade, business investment and the availability of skilled labour are already affecting growth, and will continue to do so in the short to medium term. While construction activity and output levels will continue to increase, the rate of growth is expected to fall and remain relatively modest to the end of the forecast period.
A stronger focus on energy efficiency and water saving will continue to drive growth in the plumbing and heating sector, providing new opportunities for merchants, and a growing number of merchants have already expanded their ranges to include renewable energy and sustainable heating products as well as water saving solutions. Ongoing changes to building regulations will also boost demand for higher specification products.
The 'Plumbers Merchants Market Report - UK 2018-2022' report is available now and can be ordered online at or by calling 01242 235724.

Wednesday, October 03, 2018

Facilities Management Outsourcing - Central and Local Government Sector - 5 Key Facts

  • In 2017, Facilities Management outsourcing in the central and local government market was estimated to be worth over £4.3bn.
  • Social housing accounts for 45% of market value.
  • The total running cost of the central government mandated estate in 2015/16 was estimated at over £2.5bn.
  • The housing associations' stock has generally been rising over the last few years, increasing 6% between 2012 and 2016.
  • The UK FM market is fragmented in nature, with the leading 5 operators only accounting for an estimated 35% of market value.
These facts have been extracted from AMA Research's 'Facilities Management Outsourcing – Central and Local Government Sector Report – UK 2017-2021 Analysis' available for purchase now.