The UK household textiles market is both mature and highly competitive. Given already high penetration levels, it is heavily dependent upon replacement sales, which are also influenced by consumer confidence and disposable income. The home improvements sector can also drive demand for household textiles, as consumers seek to co-ordinate designs and colours to create a particular dÃ©cor or style. This sector has been buoyant in recent years.
The purchase of household textiles is, in some respects, cyclical, with a need to replace items regularly due to wear and tear on towels, sheets and pillow cases, for example. This creates steady demand in both the domestic and contract sectors. Severe pricing competition and discounting also facilitates more frequent replacement, although subduing overall market value.
Consumer aspirations for contemporary styling, influenced by imagery on social media and celebrity endorsement, has aided sale of more premium products. This includes improved comfort of duvets and pillows, as well as luxury touches such as metallic finishes to towels and bold designs on bedding. The household textiles market is now clearly positioned within the wider fashionable homewares market, with greater co-ordination of colours across items to create a particular style. This is exemplified by entry to the homewares market of clothing and fashion brands which also appeal to a younger demographic, creating additional sales opportunities.
Latest innovations include the addition of technical properties to materials in order to actively remove toxins from the body overnight, maximising the restorative value of sleep. Additionally, ‘breathability’, ‘climate control’, ‘hypoallergenic’ and ‘anti-allergy’ have all become mainstream choices for filled products such as pillows and duvets. Other factors which determine overall market growth levels include the continuing rise of online sales and pureplay internet retailers in the sector. This facilitates greater transparency of pricing and broader choice for consumers, but also depresses market value, especially at the lower end of the market.