In 2017 the shower equipment market has seen more subdued growth compared to previous years as uncertainty surrounding the Brexit process has impacted on business and consumer process. Between 2010 and 2012, the UK shower market was comparatively volatile, in line with the uncertain economic situation at this time. However, from 2013 to 2016 the market for showering products saw signs of stabilisation with consistent levels of growth as demand picking up with the UK economy recovering.
The majority of UK household now have at least one shower installation in their property. The level of penetration has climbed significantly since the late 1990’s to reach around 90% in 2016, this is equivalent to 23.9 million UK homes. Demand for shower products has been positively influenced by the increasing consumer preference towards using a shower instead of a bath. Furthermore, around two thirds of shower installations are installed over a bath. Additionally, a significant number of households with an over-bath facility also have a secondary separate shower facility such as an ensuite or wetroom area.
In terms of product mix, shower controls account for the greatest proportion of the shower equipment market with the largest share by value in 2016. Enclosures, screens and trays account for somewhat less than the shower controls sector with a moderately smaller share. With the maturing shower market and high level of shower usage, replacement products such as shower accessories have grown in market share.
Shower products for the domestic and commercial sectors are distributed through a wide range of channels. The main distribution channel continues to be builders’ and plumbers’ merchants with the home improvement multiples also holding a substantial share. Other retail channels include bathroom specialists, grocery multiples, mail order retailers and department stores. Online retailers are becoming significantly more important as consumers increasingly use the internet to source the best deals. Manufacturers are also selling spare parts and accessories direct to the consumer online, via transactional websites.
Going forward, the UK shower equipment market is expected to continue to grow at steady, but moderate, levels similar to 2017. A strong driver for growth is the fact that new housebuilding volumes are set to continue increasing despite the uncertainty currently surrounding the UK’s exit from the EU. Prospects remain positive in this sector and will support demand for showers installed in new build homes.