Smart tech offers growth in shower market

Smart technology will be a driver for growth in the shower market, AMA Research has claimed.

According to the latest Shower Market Report – UK 2017-2021 Analysis, the demand for digital showers has seen good growth with smart technology becoming more prevalent in UK homes.

The shower market as a whole is estimated to have seen an increase of 2% in 2017, slightly lower than the 3% growth seen in 2016.

The penetration rate of the shower market has grown significantly since the late 1990s to reach 90% in 2016, with at least one shower installation in the majority of UK homes.

Continued steady growth of between 2% to 4% a year is currently forecast between now and 2021.

Business and consumer confidence have been impacted by Brexit uncertainty, which could negatively impact new construction starts and RMI (remodelling market index) activity in the next two to three years in some end-use sectors.

Shower controls currently account for the greatest proportion of the shower equipment market with a 46% share by value in 2016.

Enclosures, screens and trays account for slightly less than shower controls, while the maturing shower market and higher level of shower usage has led to some share growth in replacement products, such as shower accessories.

In recent years, product development and improvement in the shower equipment market has focused on quality and design with trends towards higher-value products and contemporary styles.

The greater level of replacement purchases offer product upgrade and added value opportunities in this market.

An increasing number of shower products are now being designed for retrofit purposes, such as electric showers with multiple cable/water entry points and mixer showers with standard pipe centres.

The demand for inclusive showering solutions is also growing, with a growing number of elderly and disabled people now living at home, which is creating demand for accessible solutions that make the bathroom easier to use and more functional, such as walk-in enclosures or wet-room areas.

Water efficiency is also another growing consideration among homeowners, with more than a third of UK homes currently using a water meter creating a greater demand for water-efficient shower controls.

The addition of the Water Label on shower packaging has also made consumer product comparison of the water use between similar products easier and more transparent.

Hayley Thornley, research manager at AMA Research, said: “Going forward, the market is expected to increase by around 13% between 2018 and 2021. New house building volumes are set to continue increasing, despite the uncertainty currently surrounding the UK’s exit from the EU, and prospects remain positive in this sector, supporting demand for showers installed in new-build homes. In the commercial sector, demand for showering equipment is likely to emulate from private new-build and RMI activity in the hotels sector, care homes and health and fitness clubs and gyms.”

The shower equipment market will continue to fragment and the number of own-label products, often sold online, is likely to increase, AMA has predicted.

Online retailers are becoming more important as consumers are increasingly using the internet to source the best deals, while manufacturers are selling spare parts and accessories direct to the consumer online.

Competition from non-UK suppliers is set to rise, with pricing pressures likely to remain intense, thanks to the high level of imported products and the growing number of competitive distribution channels, such as the internet, home improvement multiples and other major retailers.

  • Main image: Abacus Temptation range of thermostatic shower controls
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