Kitchen sales are expected to top the £3 billion mark for the first time in 2017 thanks to a growing focus on ‘cooking culture’, according to new research.
A report from MTW Research found that sales of kitchens in 2016 are at a historic high, with the higher-value sector boosting margins for the specialist kitchen retailers.
In the past four years, housing transactions have grown 30%, this combined with low unemployment levels and new kitchen design trends have been the key areas prompting growth in the kitchen market in 2016.
The report identified a growing need for kitchens to offer versatile living, working, dining and socialising space, which is also prompting growth opportunities for kitchen suppliers.
The Internet of Things (IoT) has also been identified as offering significant growth opportunities to the kitchen sector in 2016, with MTW predicting sustained growth from such devices, as well as increasing demand for more ‘connected’ kitchens.
However, it does point out some challenging market conditions for kitchen manufacturers and retailers, thanks to the rising dominance of internet retailers, which is putting pricing pressure on the middle to lower end of the market.
Consumer expectations were also found to be rising, as demand for high quality, technologically advanced products at low prices increases. This is expected to add more strain on margins for kitchen product manufacturers.
The report also found that just over half (55%) of kitchen product manufacturers experienced sales growth in the past 12 months, showing a polarisation between success and failure.
However, credit ratings remain healthy and more than 90% of kitchen suppliers had a ‘good’ or ‘excellent’ rating in 2016.
MTW’s research executive James Taylor said: “While average UK kitchens are shrinking, demand for higher value kitchens with uncluttered, clean lines is strengthening.
“There are clear opportunities for manufacturers to innovate in 2016, with clever furniture storage solutions and connected appliances which offer greater control set to drive healthy growth over the next few years.”