The UK domestic furniture market experienced a sales growth of 3% in 2014, with builders merchants dominating over a third of the kitchen furniture sector, new research has revealed.
According to AMA Research, the UK domestic furniture market was valued at an estimated £10.1bn at Retail Prices in 2014.
The market is experiencing a recovery, having seen a modest growth in 2012 and 2013, and an improved business climate leading to the sales growth in 2014.
In the kitchen furniture market, the highest distribution channel share is held by builders merchants and trade-only suppliers, which account for over a third of the market.
DIY multiples and builders and plumbers merchants also dominate the bathroom furniture sector.
The internet channel is playing an increasingly important part in the sales process in the furniture sector, however, the majority of consumers undertake research online and then purchase in store.
“Whilst there are a growing number of furniture distributors operating solely through e-commerce transactional websites, the bulk of furniture sales via the internet is directed through established furnishings retailers, using a multi-channel approach to marketing, together with catalogue/mail order retailers,” said Keith Taylor, Director of AMA Research.
“The internet also provides an opening for new entrants and niche players, allowing smaller companies to succeed in a way that they could not have done if they had to develop a retail network.”
AMA Research says the improving prospects for the UK economy in the next 5 years are likely to prove beneficial for the furniture industry, with forecasts showing increasing growth in the domestic furniture market in the period to 2018.
Total sales of domestic furniture are expected to show steady growth of around 3-3.5% per annum over the next 4 years or so, meaning the market should be worth well over £11bn by 2018.