The outlook for the bathroom market remains positive, according to MTW Research.
Its new report has revealed that sales have remained resilient for most bathroom products in 2016 with consumer spending set to remain strong in 2017, despite a ‘Brexit blip’.
It claimed that forward ordering of currencies and clear strategic planning has helped to offset the impact of the weakening pound for most bathroom suppliers.
However, with average prices now exhibiting an upward momentum, MTW suggested that the uplift is related to ‘healthy demand’ in the higher value bathroom sector as well as the low value of the pound across low-mid value price points.
Total bathroom market sales have increased by more than £230 million over the past six years, boosted by rising average spending on bathroom renovations.
MTW’s director Mark Waddy commented, “Growth in the number of en suites, cloakrooms, WCs under stairs and smaller family bathrooms represents an ongoing stimulus for bathroom suppliers, with UK consumers renovating some than 830,000 bathrooms in 2016.”
Current trends of wall-hung vanity units and sanitaryware, digital showers and the Internet of Things (IoT) integration are currently providing sales growth, according to the report.
It also found that the bathroom lighting market and furniture sectors are experiencing above average growth, with bathroom accessories selling well as consumers seek “maximum impact for minimum effort”.
While there is some price erosion in the bathroom distribution channel, rising personal incomes and consumer preferences for higher value products are offsetting the ‘e-commerce threat’ to some extent, and are in turn providing growth opportunities for specialist bathroom retailers and manufacturers.
Waddy added: “Bathroom product sales are set to increase by some £170m in the next four years, despite some sectors experiencing price erosion, indicating a positive future for bathroom suppliers who have clear market positions. Technological and aesthetic product development will support sales growth though the recent CMA ruling on internet distribution policies will prompt suppliers to closely examine their distribution strategies and implement more rigorous controls in terms of brand protection.”