Sales through UK bathroom retailers are set to outperform the economy in 2016, according to a new report.
MTW Research found that sales are now at an all-time high, surpassing £1 billion for the first time.
The Internet of Things market (IoT), it found, will offer growth opportunities across the bathroom retailers market in 2016, as more consumers look for ‘connected’ and digitally-controllable bathrooms.
The results found that 53% of bathroom retailers experienced sales growth over the past 12 months. Credit ratings were also higher, with 80% having a ‘good’ or ‘excellent’ rating, compared with 70% in 2013.
However, the report indicated the market remained erratic, with some bathroom retailers, distributors and manufacturers experiencing challenging conditions. MTW put this down to internet-only traders focusing on turnover rather than profit and eroding prices further, and larger bathroom retailers engaging in aggressive pricing strategies to gain market share.
MTW research executive James Taylor said: “Although there is an observed fall in margins, industry growth is steady and there are still profit opportunities for smaller bathroom retailers in 2016. This is particularly relevant within the luxury end of the bathroom market, where pricing pressure isn’t as evident and retailers can offer ‘turnkey’ services along with high-end, well-made products to grow profit.”
The report also highlighted that the number of multi-generational families living in the same household had increased in the UK and was stimulating growth in the inclusive bathroom market. This, it said, had strengthened demand for bathroom products that offer greater accessibility and ease of use for the whole family.
Retailers also saw a boost from an ageing population and 50+ empty-nesters, who now have access to larger savings for bathroom renovations thanks to changes in the pension system.