The UK kitchen furniture market will continue its pre-Covid sales growth despite a 5% setback in 2020 thanks to the impact of the pandemic.
This is the conclusion of the AMA Research’s Residential Kitchen Furniture Market Report – UK 2021-2025.
The report said that kitchen furniture sales had been growing steadily since the financial recession of 2008, although their upward trajectory was temporarily slowed in 2018/19 thanks to the uncertainty caused by Brexit. The market value for 2020, according to AMA Research, was £1.71 billion against £1.76bn in 2018.
The report also identified a growth in market share for trade-installed rigid kitchens rather than DIY flat-packs over the past decade.
AMA said that the kitchen furniture market in the UK is at a mature stage of product life cycle, with 83% of households owning a fitted kitchen. The report also looked at worktops and sinks, but furniture accounted for 78% of total sales, with worktops at 14% and sinks at 8%.
AMA Research product manager Laura Pardoe commented: “While the kitchen furniture market is mature, there has still been a considerable change in the market structure and practices over the past decade. Most notably from flat-pack DIY dominance to rigid, trade-installed systems supplied by Howden and others.
“Disruption can be seen in trade – imports surged in 2017 post the Brexit vote, dwindled in the following two years and now look set to top £100 million annually, but this is still close to half what it was a decade ago. In contrast, we’re starting to see growth in UK exports of kitchen furniture.”
In terms of channel sales, the report showed that 60% of kitchen furniture sales were through merchants and 40% through specialists.
The report concluded that despite their being considerable uncertainty in the UK market as a result of Brexit and Covid 19, it expected the kitchen furniture market to show continued growth in the future. It warned, however, of several factors that might inhibit growth over the next few years, including price increases for raw materials, rising public debt levels, distribution difficulties and labour shortages in the construction industry.
On a positive note, the report said that to mitigate those negative factors, consumer confidence is improving, many UK households have increased their savings and paid off their debts during the pandemic, with many consumer markets hoping to benefit from the pent-up demand.
Another upside from the report was that although kitchen imports were expected to increase to around £100 million, kitchen exports are also growing, with AMA anticipating a figure in the region of £35m.
A kitchen market report published earlier this year by JKMR put the value of the kitchen products sector (which includes furniture and appliances) for 2020 at £4.3 billion, and predicted sales of £4.5bn for 2021. It also reported that rigid kitchens had increased their market share over flat-packs and assembled component kitchens, with 63.5% of sales in 2020, up from 45% in 2001.
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