Organisers of the kbb Birmingham 2018 show have promised an event that will highlight forthcoming trends and the challenges facing the UK retail, design and development communities, as identified by partner AMA Research.
The show, which runs from March 4-7, will be “the biggest yet” and present solutions to these challenges in the form of new features, practical conference content and the latest launches from 400 suppliers.
Show organiser UBM has identified four major trends they predict will be most prevalent over the course of the next year. These are:
- Society: How evolving customer behaviours alter the meaning of lifestyle design:
- Early adopters and urban dwellers pursue small-space design and smart space innovations;
- A focus on wellness fuels consumer aspirations for well-being products;
- Four-generation kitchens become more commonplace due to longer lives and the return of adult offspring.
- Future or fad?: How smart technologies create new possibilities for those on both sides of the debate:
- Virtual reality transforms showroom buying behaviours;
- Voice recognition modifies our use of kitchen and bathroom spaces;
- The ‘internet of things’ becomes a household phenomenon.
- Disruption as opportunity: A changing construction landscape heralds new design opportunities:
- Increased bathroom sector imports see prices fall, driving competition and favouring emerging, agile brands;
- Stagnating house prices and a reluctance to sell fuels a growing refurbishment market and big-ticket kitchen and bathroom projects;
- More non-sector specific retailers offer kitchen, bedroom and bathroom solutions.
- Materiality: UK consumers are demanding higher-quality products and materials:
- Worktops continue to dominate the UK kitchen market, driving diversification in the surfaces sector;
- British consumers become more knowledgeable and discerning when selecting wall covering, worktop and flooring solutions;
- Manufacturers use material innovation to differentiate and gain competitive advantage.