The UK’s domestic window coverings market comprises four major product sectors which are curtains (including lightweight curtains such as voiles), blinds, shutters and curtain suspension systems. The market shows positive performance through to 2017, with estimated growth of 4% on the previous year. Market growth has been relatively consistent since 2012, driven by a number of factors, though it remains competitive. Better performance in the housing sector and wider economy has fuelled demand for both replacement and new window coverings, as consumer confidence has remained relatively buoyant.
Whilst the window coverings market can be considered mature, the sector is highly innovative, with frequent product introductions. These include new materials, contemporary designs and the uptake of motorised options; the latter are becoming more affordable and mainstream. The shutter sector is also continuing to grow faster than other areas of the market with impressive annual growth rates.
A key trend within the window coverings market is greater demand for more customisation. This includes colour, alternative sizes and even combining window coverings at the same window to produce a more layered effect. The made-to-measure sector continues to grow both in-store and through e-commerce sites, as consumers seek a personalised look. Consumers are also demanding added convenience in the home, with greater uptake of automation to control window coverings at different times of the day, even adapting to light conditions.
Future growth will be driven by a number of factors including the good prospects for the shutters sector, and for made-to-measure curtains and customised blinds, as well as a stronger housing market. There is increasing demand for more premium and motorised products, and the market value is also influenced by fluctuating exchange rates on imported goods. Whilst a blended approach of both online and offline distribution channels is likely to be offered by larger players in the marketplace, price competition will continue to abound online in the lower to mid end of the marketplace. The evolution of 24/7 ordering facilities will also continue to place increasing pressure on physical store offers, with faster lead times and more competitive prices.