Business growth

Intensifying competition and higher imports has delivered continued growth within the UK bedroom furniture market, albeit a modest increase of just 2%.

According to new data from AMA Research published this month, figures suggest that the 2% growth is likely to continue into 2016/17 as competition looks set to dictate the rate of growth moving forward.

Another major factor effecting the performance of the bedroom market, which represents around 12% of overall UK domestic furniture, is the surge of imports - particularly from China, Vietnam and Poland.

While the rapid penetration of low cost imports from the Far East and Eastern Europe has driven down prices and margins in most sectors of the furniture market, the import penetration level is at its highest in the bedroom sector.

Within the sectors AMA reported that the rental market has doubled since 2002, whilst retail, which accounts for the bulk of the market, saw increased competition especially from online only platforms, which are ‘becoming more significant’.

Forecast for the next five years, the overall furniture industry remains a ‘mixed’ bag with volume growth set to rise ‘moderately’ as the UK embarks on life outside the EU. The bedroom furniture market is also forecast to show some growth in the next few years, albeit at a slower rate than the overall furniture industry and is estimated at around 2-3% in value terms, per annum.

Keith Taylor, director of AMA Research, commented: “Most of the future growth within the bedroom furniture sector is expected to come from the fitted furniture sector and also the lower end of the market, driven by companies such as IKEA, Argos and Tesco focusing on affordability and innovation supported by a wide distribution network. The market remains highly competitive and smaller independent retailers will continue to feel both economic pressures and a threat from national retailers.”