The latest kitchen market data shows a strong year for kitchen products sales in 2020 worth £4.2 billion and predicts further growth to £4.5bn for 2021.
The JKMR Fitted Kitchen Market Overview:2021 highlighted that, despite the impact of Covid and its lockdowns – with total kitchen installations just 8% lower than 2019 – the retail element performed far more strongly than the new-build sector, with sales dipping by just £100m to £4.3bn and 1.1 million kitchens purchased .
It reported that kitchens were a key room in many refurb projects with budgets swelled by money saved from non-existent holidays.
Independent kitchen studios in particular benefited from this. While the report pointed to poor performances from Travis Perkins Group and Magnet in 2020, as well as other multiple merchants, it predicted that independent studios would have their best year in 10 years in 2021 at £1.8bn.
The report suggested, however, that the mini-boom of 2021 may well come to a halt, with annual installations struggling to reach their projected 1.2m.
Market value will rise further, however, but the report concluded that with rising logistics and manufacturing costs, major suppliers may struggle to see profits on a par with pre-pandemic levels.
JKMR also looked at online sales of fitted kitchen products and pointed out that, compared with kitchen appliances, online remains a relatively small channel for fitted kitchens. It showed that online sales were 9.6% of the market (including MDAs sold with new kitchens)in 2019, rising to 11.6% in 2020 and projected to hit 12.5% in 2021. The report said this showed that the service element in fitted kitchens works against pure-play online retailers.
By category, fitted kitchen cabinetry volumes saw a dip in 2020, but they are expected to return to 2019 levels in 2021. Worktops saw the greatest level of value growth for 2010 to 2019, reflecting, said the report, the inroads of higher-priced materials, but sinks and taps outstripped worktops in 2020 and are projected to continue to do so.
Integrated appliances saw the lowest level of value growth. This, sad the report, reflected the fact that despite more having been sold, pricing has become more competitive due to more sales through low-cost channels.
In kitchen furniture, rigid kitchens have increased their market share over flat-packs and assembled component kitchens with 63.5% of sales in 2020, up from 45% in 2001.
The report concluded: “While market activity begun positively in 2021 – even those unable to physically open their store have continued to convert existing enquiries, how much the effects of ‘lockdown living’, such as changing views on family care arrangements, a shift to home-based working with its impact on property choice, changed options for leisure and socialising experiences, and the shift to online purchasing, will affect consumer behaviour and household living on an ongoing basis, will take time to be fully realised.”
It also highlighted that post-Brexit, there are still unknowns as to future trading agreements and mechanisms with the EU and beyond, which could have a potential impact on house prices, inflation and supply chains.