Following substantial growth in the early 2000’s, the bedroom furniture market became more difficult as the decade progressed with little growth until 2014 when the market increased by 5%. Since then, bedroom furniture has grown at a slower rate than the overall domestic furniture market, at around 1-2% per year.
Growth in the bedroom furniture market has been supported by increased sales of fitted furniture, particularly within the sliding wardrobe doors sector. Storage is another growth sector, since space within the average UK home remains limited, particularly in the bedroom. This lack of space has resulted in the growing popularity of sliding wardrobe door systems. Modular furniture continues to be popular and the trend towards smaller houses and households is likely to sustain this trend, as demand for clever storage solutions continues to grow.
The rapid penetration of low cost imports from the Far East and Eastern Europe within the furniture sector has driven down prices and margins in most sectors of the market, but the penetration is at its highest in the bedroom sector. The bulk of imports consist of unbranded freestanding furniture, while the majority of fitted furniture is manufactured in the UK. China is the major source for bedroom furniture imports.
Bedroom furniture remains a mature market, although future demand will be driven by a steadily increasing number of households and greater pressures on space utilisation and flexibility. Market conditions are likely to remain competitive in 2018, and although this should improve, it is unlikely that there will be high levels of value growth, as imports continue to drive down prices and margins. Further innovation in design trends and storage facilities may provide some opportunities for differentiation and margin protection for UK manufacturers, although these are likely to remain in niche markets.