The UK domestic children’s furniture and household textiles market was static in 2011 followed by a modest increase of around 2% in 2012, although volume sales have increased in recent years, supported by the substitution of high value home produced products with lower value imported products in the lower to medium priced market sector.
Currently beds and mattresses account for 75% of the total market, compared with furniture at 13% and household textiles with a 12% share.
It is estimated that children’s and teenagers’ beds and mattresses account for around 16% of the total beds market in 2012, with a value of around £95m in that year. Within the children’s and teenagers’ beds and mattresses sector, bunk beds and associated products, such as mid and high sleepers, account for 37% of the market, cots and nursery beds for 33% and beds or bedsteads for a further 30%.
Major suppliers to the market include Silentnight Ltd, Airsprung Beds, Kozee Sleep Beds Ltd, Sweet Dreams (Nelson) Ltd, Groupe Parisot, Gautier, Steens Group A/S and Stompa UK.
Retail specialists account for 28% of this sector, compared with the 18% share held by mail order and catalogue retailers. Important retailers of children’s furniture include Argos Ltd, Mothercare plc, Bensons for Beds, Mamas & Papas (Retail) Ltd, Shop Direct Ltd, Tesco Direct, The John Lewis Partnership, together with an increasing number of online children’s furniture suppliers.
The market has been supported in recent years by an influx of retailers entering the market or extending their product ranges in this sector, multiples, such as Tesco, Next, Asda and Homebase have joined established companies in this sector, such as Argos, Mothercare, Mamas & Papas and so on. Of course this has increased the competitive nature of the market and has resulted in casualties, particularly in the independent category.
Textile Sales have been constrained by the slow economic recovery, although the low product values have prevented a sharper decline in the market for children’s household textiles. Rising cotton and polyester prices began to feed through to the market in around mid-2011, further impacting on retailers’ margins, putting upward pressure on prices and heightening the competitive nature of the market still further. Sales of bed linen and filled products, which includes duvets, pillows, duvet covers, mattress protectors and so on, account for the largest share of the children’s household textiles sector.
Department stores account for 33% of the distribution of children’s household textiles, compared with the 16% share held by retail specialists and 14% held by mail order/catalogue retailers.
The total market for children’s furniture and household textiles is estimated to have reached £126m in 2012, an increase of 2% on the preceding year, but is forecast to show more positive annual growth to 2017, to reach a level of £146m by the end of the period. Beds and mattresses will continue to account for around 75% of the total market.