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Shower market shuns Brexit blip in 2018

The new 2018 report on the UK shower market from MTW Research finds that whilst the prospect of Brexit is dampening performance, robust demand continues to support above inflation growth in 2018 for most sectors.

Brexit ‘Blip’ Softened by Millennials & Empty Nesters

The 270 page report identifies the Brexit transition period as providing a relatively stable environment for growth to the end of 2020, with above inflation growth forecast for the next 4 years. Other factors such as housebuilding rising by 16% in H2 2017 and healthy refurbishment demand continue to underpin sales growth for shower manufacturers, distributors and retailers.

The report considers several key target markets such as ‘Millennials’, finding that they are twice as likely as over 50s to move and renovate a new home, boosting volume demand for mid priced showers. The over 50 age group represents a key opportunity to drive value growth, with this more experienced, knowledgeable sector more resistant to pricing pressure.

MTW director Mark Waddy said: The Brexit vote has undoubtedly slowed growth for the Showers market but with refurbishment demand from a dwelling stock of almost 29 million, volume demand rising from ‘Millennials’ and value growth underpinned by the 50+ age group there are many reasons to be optimistic for the future.”

Despite the report forecasting a ‘Brexit blip’ in 2019, the overall tone is positive for most end use sectors with real term growth ranging from 1-2% for most product sectors such as the shower controls market, enclosures, screens and trays. Pricing pressure in the shower accessories market remains intense though volume demand is stable, boosted by the popular ‘maximum impact, minimum effort’ ethos.

Digital Shower Market Boosts Sales

The report identifies market size by value and volume for the shower controls market, finding that the digital showers market continues to gain share, albeit at lower rates of growth than previous reports. The high pressure digital shower market represents the fastest paced growth sector in 2018 according to MTW, with 30% growth forecast over the next few years.

The report also reveals that the concealed mixing valve sector is outperforming the showers market with double digit growth forecast to 2022, complementing the trend toward frameless shower enclosures, low profile trays and the wet room market. MTW provide a share for the most popular shower enclosures in terms of shape and design as well as for the shower trays market, highlighting a number of key differentiators used to drive sales and the trend toward larger enclosures in the higher value showers market.

Commercial Showers Market Stable

The commercial showers market size and product mix is also reviewed in the report, and whilst MTW found a slightly less positive scenario in this sector, sales remain positive. The single outlet TMV market continues to gain share from the multi-point TMV market in 2018, with some end use sectors underpinning sales in the refurbishment sector. Demand from the £10 billion FM market is also indicated to be propping up sales for the non-domestic showers market, with a number of PFI funded buildings in the late 1990s / early 2000s now increasingly requiring refurbishment.

Internet Margins Down; Professional Installations Up

Aggressive pricing by Internet retailers continues to characterise the volume end of the showers market, with profitability for some online retailers at less than 1%.  The Internet continues to gain share with sales growth of 30% between 2018 and 2022 forecast by MTW.  However, the fightback by other channels appears to be gaining traction with trade outlets, led by the merchants, gaining share. MTW’s showers market report is available from £595 at www.marketresearchreports.co.uk or by calling 08456 524324.

Source: MTW Research

About Fiona Russell-Horne

Fiona Russell-Horne
Group Managing Editor across the BMJ portfolio.

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