Technology to boost bathroom market

New technology is ‘paving the way’ for growth in the UK shower market despite Brexit, a new report has found.

The report, from MTW Research, suggested that new technology is set to create a £50 million sale ‘bounce’ by 2020, despite Brexit dampening volume growth.

MTW Research forecasts that sales of shower products will see growth of 10% by 2020.

Growth in digital shower sales of 26% and a steady shift to higher specification preferences are boosting value performance, according to MTW. Volume growth is underpinned by rising domestic refurbishment activity for shower controls, screens, trays and enclosures.

MTW executive James Taylor said: “The shower market in 2016 is being driven by demand for not just high quality, design led enclosures and trays but also the latest technologies in smart showering, which offer an inclusive product that the whole family can use for great levels of control and ease of use.”

The report has predicted that while demand from house building may dip in the near term, value growth is set to remain healthy as consumers demand higher value products with enhanced features.

It also identified a number of opportunities presented by Brexit, highlighting a likely growth in UK manufacturing as investment in production facilities increases in the longer term, underpinned by low corporate taxes, a lower cost of the pound and flexible labour force.

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A number of key threats to the shower products market were also pinpointed, with pricing pressure a key characteristic of the sector in 2016.

The shower market continues to polarise into the higher value, brand led sector underpinning value growth whilst lower value imports are rising in volume terms.

The report identified that internet distribution is gaining share in 2016, though online retailers are growing mainly in the low-mid value end of the market, with less success at the higher value end. According to MTW, this represents an opportunity for specialist bathroom retailers who are able to occupy a differentiated market position by offering higher value products and services.

The report suggested that there might be some ‘Brexit bumps’ in the road over the next two to three years. However, the overall trading environment is reasonably positive with above inflation growth forecast to 2020.

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