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Carpets and Floorcoverings - UK - March 2013

“When compared to markets such as cookers and microwaves and kitchens and kitchen furniture, flooring appears to be the first out of the blocks in terms of the recovery of the bigger-ticket markets. Developments in cheaper synthetic carpets and laminate flooring have allowed consumers to make replacements at what they perceive to be an affordable price, an aspect which has been added to by the pressure from larger chains on the entire market, to drive down prices as a result of their promotional tactics.”
– Neil Mason, Head of Retail Research
Some questions answered in this report include:

  • Are consumer finances ready to support floorcovering changes?
  • What is the impact of retail diversification?
  • Can smaller specialist survive an environment which favours ‘lowest price’ marketing?
  • Can the benefits of e-commerce outweigh product-related difficulties in bridging the gap between the real and virtual shopping dynamics?
  • Is the smaller retail model the route to survival?

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Table of contents

  1. Introduction

      • Definitions
        • Abbreviations
        • Executive Summary

            • The market
              • The future
                • Figure 1: Value sales of carpets and floorcoverings, 2007-17
              • Market factors
                • The UK property market
                  • Figure 2: Residential property transactions, by quarter, 2007-12
                  • Figure 3: Purchasing of floorcoverings, by length of time in current home, 2012
                • Renovation prospects
                  • Figure 4: Ownership of home extensions, 2008-12
                • Companies, brands and Innovation
                  • Figure 5: UK retail sales of carpets and smooth floorcoverings, by outlet type, 2012
                • Online opens up the marketplace to small independents
                  • The consumer
                    • Figure 6: Types of flooring currently in household, November 2012
                    • Figure 7: Types of flooring planning to buy, by housing situation, November 2012
                  • Retail dynamics
                    • Figure 8: Retailer purchased from, November 2012
                    • Figure 9: Retailer purchased from, by gender and age group, November 2012
                  • Factors influencing purchase
                    • Figure 10: Factors important when purchasing new flooring, November 2012
                  • Attitudes towards buying carpet and floorcoverings
                    • Figure 11: Consumer attitudes towards buying carpets and floorcoverings, November 2012
                  • What we think
                  • Issues in the Market

                      • Are consumer finances ready to support floorcovering changes?
                        • What is the impact of retail diversification?
                          • Can smaller specialist survive an environment which favours ‘lowest price’ marketing?
                            • Can the benefits of e-commerce outweigh product-related difficulties in bridging the gap between the real and virtual shopping dynamics?
                              • Is the smaller retail model the route to survival?
                              • Trend Application

                                  • Trend: Nouveau Poor
                                    • Trend: Experience is All
                                      • Mintel Futures: Brand Intervention
                                      • Internal Market Environment

                                        • Key points
                                          • Austerity dampens appetite for home improvement
                                            • Figure 12: Attitudes towards the home, 2008-12
                                            • Figure 13: Attitudes towards the home, by age group, socio-economic group and lifestage, 2008-12
                                          • Rising allergies and the impact on carpets
                                            • Figure 14: Allergies prone to, 2008-12
                                            • Figure 15: Allergies prone to, by gender, age group and socio-economic group, 2008-12
                                          • Price inflation
                                            • Figure 16: Annual change in consumer prices for carpets and other floorcoverings, Jan 2010-Nov 2012
                                          • Imports and exports
                                            • A noisy issue in housing
                                              • Figure 17: Type of housing in the UK, 2012
                                              • Figure 18: Type of housing in the UK, by gender, age group and socio-economic group, 2012
                                            • Environmental credentials
                                              • Eco-carpet
                                                • Bamboo to shape eco flooring trends
                                                  • Figure 19: Trends in willingness to pay more for environmentally-friendly products, 2008-12
                                                  • Figure 20: Willingness to pay more for environmentally friendly products, by demographics, 2012
                                                • Fashions in flooring
                                                • Broader Market Environment

                                                  • Key points
                                                    • Consumer confidence hits highest level in 18 months
                                                      • Figure 21: GfK NOP Consumer confidence index, January 2010-November 2012
                                                    • Proportion of over-55s set to increase
                                                      • Figure 22: Trends in the age structure of the UK population, by gender, 2007-17
                                                    • Two thirds of over-55s use one device to connect
                                                      • Figure 23: Trends in broadband penetration, 2007-12
                                                      • Figure 24: Repertoire of methods used to access the internet in the last three months, by age, September 2012
                                                    • The (mis) fortunes of the UK property market
                                                      • Figure 25: Number of UK Residential property transactions, by quarter, 2007-12
                                                      • Figure 26: Purchasing of floorcoverings, by length of time in current home, 2012
                                                    • Renovation prospects
                                                      • Figure 27: Ownership of home extensions, 2008-12
                                                      • Figure 28: Ownership of home extensions, by demographics, 2012
                                                    • Smaller households to reduce flooring volumes?
                                                      • Figure 29: Number of bedrooms in home, 2008-12
                                                      • Figure 30: Number of bedrooms in home, by gender, age and social grade, 2012
                                                  • Who’s Innovating

                                                    • Key points
                                                      • Acoustic developments
                                                        • CAS Carpets
                                                          • Installation development
                                                            • Stain resistance
                                                              • Digital flooring design
                                                                • Anti-bacterial
                                                                • Competitive Context

                                                                  • Key points
                                                                    • Figure 31: Consumer expenditure on selected household products, 2008-12
                                                                • Strengths and Weaknesses

                                                                  • Strengths
                                                                    • Weaknesses
                                                                    • Market Size and Segmentation

                                                                      • Key points
                                                                        • Figure 32: Value sales of carpets and floorcoverings, 2007-17
                                                                      • Segment performance
                                                                        • Figure 33: UK retail value of carpets and flooring by segment, 2007-12
                                                                      • Synthetic innovation driving carpet sales
                                                                        • Solid investment
                                                                          • The future
                                                                            • Forecast
                                                                              • Figure 34: Value sales of carpets and floorcoverings, 2007-17
                                                                          • Channels of Distribution

                                                                            • Key points
                                                                              • Figure 35: UK retail sales of carpets and smooth floorcoverings, by outlet type, 2011 and 2012
                                                                            • Independents dominate, but share is slipping
                                                                              • Chains feel the burden of a higher-cost model
                                                                                • Diversifying to survive
                                                                                  • A lone survivor?
                                                                                    • Every little helps
                                                                                      • Online opens up the marketplace to small independents
                                                                                        • Buying groups
                                                                                            • Figure 36: Carpet Foundation Logo, 2012
                                                                                          • Headlam
                                                                                            • Figure 37: Headlam Group sales and financial performance, 2010 and 2011
                                                                                          • Carpet multiples
                                                                                            • Carpetright plc
                                                                                              • Figure 38: Carpetright plc, UK sales and financial performance, 2011 and 2012
                                                                                            • Allied Carpets
                                                                                              • United Carpets
                                                                                                • Franks
                                                                                                  • Smooth flooring specialists
                                                                                                    • DIY retailers
                                                                                                      • Department stores
                                                                                                        • Tesco
                                                                                                          • Furniture retailers
                                                                                                          • Companies and Products

                                                                                                            • Major players
                                                                                                              • Axminster Carpets Limited
                                                                                                                  • Figure 39: Financial performance of Axminster Carpets Ltd, 2009 and 2010
                                                                                                                • Brintons Carpets Ltd
                                                                                                                  • Victoria Carpets
                                                                                                                      • Figure 40: Financial performance of Victoria Plc Limited, 2011 and 2012
                                                                                                                    • Cormar Carpets
                                                                                                                        • Figure 41: Financial performance of Cormar Carpets (Greenwood & Coope) Limited, 2010 and 2011
                                                                                                                      • Ulster Carpets
                                                                                                                          • Figure 42: Financial performance of Ulster Carpets Mills (Holdings) Limited, 2011 and 2012
                                                                                                                        • Kronospan Limited
                                                                                                                            • Figure 43: Financial performance of Kronospan Holdings Limited, 2010 and 2011
                                                                                                                          • Unilin
                                                                                                                            • Forbo Flooring UK Limited
                                                                                                                                • Figure 44: Financial performance of Forbo Flooring UK Limited, 2010 and 2011
                                                                                                                            • Brand Communication and Promotion

                                                                                                                              • Key points
                                                                                                                                • Declining adspend reflects market sales
                                                                                                                                  • Figure 45: Main media advertising expenditure on carpets and hard flooring, by advertiser, 2008-12
                                                                                                                                  • Figure 46: Average monthly spending on main media advertising on carpets & soft floorcoverings, and hard flooring, 2008-12
                                                                                                                                  • Figure 47: Main media advertising expenditure on carpets and soft floorcoverings, and hard flooring, by advertiser, 2012
                                                                                                                                  • Figure 48: Main media advertising expenditure on carpets & soft floorcoverings, and hard flooring, by media type, 2008-12
                                                                                                                              • The Consumer – Ownership Patterns

                                                                                                                                • Key points
                                                                                                                                    • Figure 49: Types of flooring currently in household, November 2012
                                                                                                                                  • Flooring outlook to remain muted?
                                                                                                                                    • The movers and the shakers
                                                                                                                                      • Figure 50: Types of flooring currently in household, by region and age group, November 2012
                                                                                                                                      • Figure 51: Types of flooring currently in household, by housing situation, November 2012
                                                                                                                                      • Figure 52: Types of flooring currently in household, by socio-economic group, November 2012
                                                                                                                                    • Recent replacers
                                                                                                                                        • Figure 53: Types of flooring bought in the last 3 years, by housing situation and age and presence of own children, November 2012
                                                                                                                                        • Figure 54: Types of flooring planning to buy, by presence of children, November 2012
                                                                                                                                      • Forthcoming flooring plans
                                                                                                                                        • Figure 55: Types of flooring planning to buy, by housing situation, November 2012
                                                                                                                                      • Cross-analysis
                                                                                                                                        • Figure 56: Types of flooring planning to buy, by types of flooring currently in household, November 2012
                                                                                                                                    • The Consumer – Where Consumers Purchase Their Carpets and Floorcoverings

                                                                                                                                      • Key points
                                                                                                                                          • Figure 57: Retailer purchased from, November 2012
                                                                                                                                        • Traditional retail model appeals to older consumers
                                                                                                                                          • Figure 58: Retailer purchased from, by gender and age group, November 2012
                                                                                                                                        • Regional skew sees London shun indies
                                                                                                                                          • Figure 59: Retailer purchased from, by region, November 2012
                                                                                                                                          • Figure 60: Retailer purchased from, by socio-economic group, November 2012
                                                                                                                                        • Cross-analysis
                                                                                                                                          • Figure 61: Types of flooring bought in the last 3 years, by retailer purchased from, November 2012
                                                                                                                                      • The Consumer – Factors Influencing Purchase

                                                                                                                                        • Key points
                                                                                                                                            • Figure 62: Factors important when purchasing new flooring, November 2012
                                                                                                                                          • Cross-analysis
                                                                                                                                            • Recently purchased
                                                                                                                                              • Planning to buy
                                                                                                                                                • Influence and retailer
                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 63: Retailer purchased from, by next most popular factors important when purchasing new flooring (any important), November 2012
                                                                                                                                                • The Consumer – Attitudes towards Buying Carpet and Floorcoverings

                                                                                                                                                  • Key points
                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 64: Consumer attitudes towards buying carpets and floorcoverings, November 2012
                                                                                                                                                    • Getting in the game
                                                                                                                                                      • Attitudes towards buying with buying influences
                                                                                                                                                        • Types of flooring recently purchased with attitudes towards buying home products
                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 65: Types of flooring bought in the last 3 years, by most popular consumer attitudes towards buying home products, November 2012
                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 66: Types of flooring bought in the last 3 years, by next most popular consumer attitudes towards buying home products, November 2012
                                                                                                                                                          • Flooring planned to buy in next 12 months against attitudes towards buying carpet
                                                                                                                                                            • Retailer used against attitudes towards buying carpet
                                                                                                                                                              • All signs point to web search results
                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 67: Retailer purchased from, by most popular consumer attitudes towards buying carpets and floorcoverings, November 2012
                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 68: Retailer purchased from, by most popular consumer attitudes towards buying carpets and floorcoverings, November 2012
                                                                                                                                                            • The Consumer – CHAID Analysis

                                                                                                                                                              • Key points
                                                                                                                                                                • Methodology
                                                                                                                                                                  • The value of a demographic shift
                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 69: Carpets and Floorcoverings – CHAID – Tree output, March 2013
                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 70: Carpets & Floorcoverings – CHAID – Table output, March 2013
                                                                                                                                                                  • Appendix – Internal Market Environment

                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 71: Attitudes towards the home, by demographics, 2012
                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 72: Allergies prone to, by demographics, 2012
                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 73: Type of housing in the UK, by demographics, 2012
                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 74: Likelihood to pay more for environmentally friendly products, by demographics, 2012
                                                                                                                                                                  • Appendix – Broader Market Environment

                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 75: Ownership of home extensions, by demographics, 2012
                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 76: Number of bedrooms in home, by demographics, 2012
                                                                                                                                                                  • Appendix – Ownership Patterns

                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 77: Types of flooring currently in household, by demographics, November 2012
                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 78: Most popular types of flooring bought in the last 3 years, by demographics, November 2012
                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 79: Next most popular types of flooring bought in the last 3 years, by demographics, November 2012
                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 80: Most popular types of flooring planning to buy, by demographics, November 2012
                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 81: Next most popular types of flooring planning to buy, by demographics, November 2012
                                                                                                                                                                  • Appendix – Where Consumers Purchase Their Carpets and Floorcoverings

                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 82: Retailer purchased from, by demographics, November 2012
                                                                                                                                                                  • Appendix – Factors Influencing Purchase

                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 83: Importance of ability to withstand wear and tear in purchasing new flooring, by demographics, November 2012
                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 84: Importance of easy to maintain in purchasing new flooring, by demographics, November 2012
                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 85: Importance of comes with a guarantee in purchasing new flooring, by demographics, November 2012
                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 86: Importance of feels nice to touch/comfortable underfoot in purchasing new flooring, by demographics, November 2012
                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 87: Importance of style in purchasing new flooring, by demographics, November 2012
                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 88: Importance of spill or stain treatment in purchasing new flooring, by demographics, November 2012
                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 89: Importance of non-slip finish in purchasing new flooring, by demographics, November 2012
                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 90: Importance of flooring I can fit myself in purchasing new flooring, by demographics, November 2012
                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 91: Importance of environmentally friendly in purchasing new flooring, by demographics, November 2012
                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 92: Importance of neutral colour in purchasing new flooring, by demographics, November 2012
                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 93: Importance of classic design in purchasing new flooring, by demographics, November 2012
                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 94: Importance of branded floorcovering in purchasing new flooring, by demographics, November 2012
                                                                                                                                                                  • Appendix – Attitudes towards Buying Carpets and Floorcoverings

                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 95: Most popular types of flooring currently in household, by demographics, November 2012
                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 96: Next most popular types of flooring currently in household, by demographics, November 2012

                                                                                                                                                                  Companies Covered

                                                                                                                                                                  • Allied Floors Ltd
                                                                                                                                                                  • Axminster Carpets Holdings Ltd
                                                                                                                                                                  • Brintons Carpets
                                                                                                                                                                  • Carbon Trust
                                                                                                                                                                  • Carlyle Group (The)
                                                                                                                                                                  • Carpet and Rug Institute
                                                                                                                                                                  • Cormar Carpets Ltd
                                                                                                                                                                  • Facebook, Inc.
                                                                                                                                                                  • Forbo Flooring
                                                                                                                                                                  • John Lewis Partnership
                                                                                                                                                                  • Kronospan Holdings Ltd
                                                                                                                                                                  • Mohawk Industries Inc.
                                                                                                                                                                  • Twitter, Inc.
                                                                                                                                                                  • Ulster Carpets
                                                                                                                                                                  • Victoria Carpets
                                                                                                                                                                  • Victoria Plc

                                                                                                                                                                  Carpets and Floorcoverings - UK - March 2013

                                                                                                                                                                  £1,995.00 (Excl.Tax)