The characteristics of the UK brassware & taps market has changed in recent years, due in part to legislation and developments in distribution. The level of imports has increased considerably and as a result, the UK market is now exposed to product and design trends from a variety of sources, particularly Europe and also wider supply sources, such as the Far East.
The UK brassware & taps market saw good growth in 2015 and 2016, driven by the favourable conditions in the new housebuilding sector and demand emulating from the private commercial sector. Following the UK vote to leave the EU, growth was also recorded in 2017, although at a lesser pace than 2016. This was followed by a more modest performance in 2018 and 2019 as the Brexit negotiations continued. Consumer and business confidence saw a decline, impacting on the market for brassware & taps.
With economic uncertainty exacerbated by the UK’s withdrawal from the EU, markets have remained price sensitive. There continues to be high levels of foreign competition and an increasing number of suppliers. These factors contribute to pressures on margins throughout the supply chain and across the brassware products industry.
With the arrival of the Covid-19 pandemic in early 2020, sales of brassware & taps began to be adversely impacted, particularly in the April to June period, when most retail outlets have been closed due to the restrictions on “non-essential” trade.