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Carpets and Floorcoverings - UK - May 2010

  • Retailers of floorcoverings need to look beyond the product in isolation and market carpets as part of a complete home interiors look. One in ten adults pay a lot of attention to samples (‘Matchers’), so staff need to be able to advise customers accordingly, and showrooms need to develop an interior design feel to demonstrate the latest products more effectively.
  • More imagination needs to be encouraged with rugs to make them one of the focal points of a room. Half of homes have laminate flooring and one in five real wood flooring, but consumers still have a strong desire for comfort and warmth, as well as the added style that rugs can provide.
  • More links between flooring products and decorating ranges could be developed, particularly at DIY stores where stores and websites could combine the two to produce a complete home interiors look. Three in ten consumers only replace flooring if they are redecorating.
  • With well-known brand names not being a major factor in determining choice, multiple retailers could assert their dominance in flooring. A link up with a major manufacturer could benefit both parties.
  • More people might be encouraged to fit flooring themselves if they felt confident enough to do so. DIY stores could better demonstrate to customers how to fit flooring such as tiles or laminate flooring.
  • The benefits of good flooring - lasting longer, better insulating the home and sound proofing - should be more strongly promoted. The savings in household energy bills by using thicker carpet and underlay could be easily demonstrated by suppliers.

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Table of contents

  1. Issues in the Market

      • Key themes
        • Definitions
          • Abbreviations
          • Future Opportunities

              • Ambience, ambience, ambience
                • Guiding the consumer
                  • A more evocative space
                    • An interactive space
                      • Meeting the needs of the 21st century customer
                        • Carpets for Kids
                        • Market in Brief

                          • Recession and housing slump hits floorcoverings
                            • Leading retailers forced to scale down operations
                              • Price and ease of cleaning key factors
                                • Love of home drives desire for spotless floors
                                  • Brands not a dominant factor in decision making
                                    • Growing focus on sustainability
                                      • Marketing flooring as part of complete look
                                        • Carpets for most rooms, but not the kitchen or bathroom
                                          • Redecorating a major driver of sales
                                            • More households means more demand for flooring
                                              • Slow and uncertain path to recovery
                                              • Internal Market Environment

                                                • Key points
                                                  • Easy to clean flooring a top priority
                                                    • Figure 1: Attitudes towards the home, 2005-09
                                                  • Focusing on allergy suffers
                                                    • Figure 2: Allergies prone to, 2008 and 2009
                                                  • Fluctuations in consumer prices
                                                    • Figure 3: Annual change in consumer prices for 'carpets and other floorcoverings', March 2008-10
                                                  • Strong overseas trade in floorcoverings
                                                    • Figure 4: Overseas trade in carpets and other floorcoverings, 2005-09
                                                  • Growing focus on sustainability
                                                    • Promoting product awareness
                                                    • Broader Market Environment

                                                      • Key points
                                                        • Recession hits discretionary spending on home
                                                          • Figure 5: GDP, PDI and consumer expenditure, at current prices, 2005-15
                                                        • Sales strongly linked to fortunes of housing market
                                                            • Figure 6: Number of UK residential property transactions*, seasonally adjusted, by quarter, 2005-09
                                                          • More households means need for more flooring
                                                            • Figure 7: UK households, by size, 2005-15
                                                          • Growth in young families to put focus on ease of cleaning
                                                            • Figure 8: Trends in the age structure of the UK population, 2005-15
                                                          • Growing affluence to boost value
                                                            • Figure 9: Trends in the socio-economic structure of the UK adult population, 2005-15
                                                        • Competitive Context

                                                          • Key points
                                                            • Recession and housing slump hits household markets
                                                              • Figure 10: Comparison of sales of carpets and other floorcoverings with other household markets, 2004-09
                                                            • Big swings in retail sales of floorcoverings
                                                              • Figure 11: Comparison of retail sales, at current prices (non-seasonally adjusted), 2005-09
                                                              • Figure 12: Comparison of annual quarterly changes in retail sales, by category, at current prices (non-seasonally adjusted), 2007-10
                                                            • Signs of improvement in consumer confidence
                                                              • Figure 13: Expenditure priorities, 2007-10
                                                          • Strengths and Weaknesses in the Market

                                                            • Strengths
                                                              • Weaknesses
                                                              • Who’s Innovating?

                                                                • Key points
                                                                  • Focus shifts to sustainability
                                                                    • Cutting noise problems in homes
                                                                      • New materials and water proofing
                                                                        • Focusing on key trends and customisation
                                                                        • Market Size and Forecast

                                                                          • Key points
                                                                            • Market hit hard by recession and slump in housing market
                                                                              • Figure 14: UK retail value sales of carpets and smooth floorcoverings, at current and constant prices, 2005-15
                                                                              • Figure 15: UK retail value sales of carpets and smooth floorcoverings, 2005-15
                                                                            • Prospects for 2010 and beyond uncertain
                                                                            • Market Segmentation

                                                                              • Key points
                                                                                • Plain carpets in neutral colours the most popular choice
                                                                                  • Figure 16: UK retail value of floorcoverings, by segment, 2005-09
                                                                                  • Figure 17: UK retail value sales of carpet, by type, 2009
                                                                                • Rugs in all shapes and sizes, and places
                                                                                  • Oak dominates in laminate and wood flooring
                                                                                    • Tiles expanding from the kitchen and bathroom
                                                                                      • Vinyl another smooth option
                                                                                      • Companies and Brands

                                                                                        • Axminster Carpets
                                                                                            • Figure 18: Axminster Carpets, financial performance, 2007-08
                                                                                          • Brintons
                                                                                              • Figure 19: Brintons Ltd, financial performance, 2007-08
                                                                                            • Cormar Carpets
                                                                                                • Figure 20: Greenwood & Coope Ltd, financial performance, 2007-08
                                                                                              • Forbo Flooring
                                                                                                  • Figure 21: Forbo Flooring UK Limited, financial performance, 2007-08
                                                                                                • Kronospan
                                                                                                    • Figure 22: Kronospan Ltd, financial performance, 2007-08
                                                                                                  • Ulster Carpets
                                                                                                      • Figure 23: Ulster Carpet Mills (Holdings) Ltd, financial performance, 2008-09
                                                                                                    • Unilin
                                                                                                        • Figure 24: Unilin (Global), financial performance, 2008-09
                                                                                                      • Victoria Carpets
                                                                                                          • Figure 25: Victoria Plc, UK financial performance, 2008-09
                                                                                                          • Figure 26: Victoria Plc, UK interim results, 2008-09
                                                                                                        • Other companies
                                                                                                          • Figure 27: Selected other companies in the floorcoverings market, 2009
                                                                                                      • Channels to Market

                                                                                                        • Key points
                                                                                                          • Specialists dominate in the carpets market
                                                                                                            • Figure 28: UK retail sales of carpets and smooth floorcoverings, by outlet type, 2007-09
                                                                                                          • Carpetright the leading chain by some distance
                                                                                                            • Repositioning of a smaller Allied Carpets
                                                                                                              • DIY stores prominent in hard/smooth flooring
                                                                                                                • Wide choice from Topps Tiles
                                                                                                                  • Rugs a highly fragmented market
                                                                                                                  • Brand Communication and Promotion

                                                                                                                    • Key points
                                                                                                                      • Dip in advertising spending in 2009
                                                                                                                        • Figure 29: Main media advertising expenditure – carpets & soft floorcoverings, and hard flooring, 2006-09
                                                                                                                      • Retail chains the biggest spenders
                                                                                                                        • Figure 30: Main media advertising expenditure on carpets and soft floorcoverings, and hard flooring, by advertiser, 2006-09
                                                                                                                      • Press and TV the dominant media
                                                                                                                        • Figure 31: Main media advertsising expenditure on carpets & soft floorcoverings, and hard flooring, by media type, 2006-09
                                                                                                                        • Figure 32: Average monthly spending on main media advertising on carpets & soft floorcoverings, and hard flooring, 2005-09
                                                                                                                    • Ownership and Purchasing Patterns

                                                                                                                      • Key points
                                                                                                                        • Purchasing hit hard by slump in housing market
                                                                                                                          • Figure 33: Ownership and purchasing of carpets, wooden floors and other floorcoverings/tiles, 2005-09
                                                                                                                        • Those with young families key purchasers
                                                                                                                          • Carpets for living rooms and bedrooms
                                                                                                                            • Figure 34: Types of flooring people have at home, by room, March 2010
                                                                                                                            • Figure 35: Incidence of various types of flooring in any room of the home, March 2010
                                                                                                                          • Younger bias to laminate flooring
                                                                                                                            • Carpets found in the majority of rooms
                                                                                                                              • Figure 36: Number of rooms with carpet at home, March 2010
                                                                                                                              • Figure 37: Rooms with carpet in home, by number of rooms with carpet at home, March 2010
                                                                                                                            • Laminate flooring most likely for one or two rooms
                                                                                                                              • Figure 38: Number of rooms with laminate flooring at home, March 2010
                                                                                                                              • Figure 39: Rooms with laminate flooring in home, by number of rooms with laminate flooring at home, March 2010
                                                                                                                            • Real wood flooring less common
                                                                                                                              • Figure 40: Number of rooms with real wood flooring, ceramic tiles and vinyl at home, March 2010
                                                                                                                            • Vinyl an alternative option to ceramic tiles
                                                                                                                            • Factors Influencing Choice

                                                                                                                              • Key points
                                                                                                                                • Easy to clean carpets wanted at a good price
                                                                                                                                  • Figure 41: Most important factors in choosing carpets for home, March 2010
                                                                                                                                  • Figure 42: Factors important when choosing carpets for home (any top five), March 2010
                                                                                                                                • Neutral colours still preferred
                                                                                                                                  • Carpet fitting all part of the service
                                                                                                                                    • Brand name of little importance
                                                                                                                                      • Similar priorities for hard/smooth flooring
                                                                                                                                        • Figure 43: Important factors in choosing hard/smooth flooring for home, March 2010
                                                                                                                                        • Figure 44: Factors important when choosing hard/smooth flooring (any top five), March 2010
                                                                                                                                      • More prepared to fit hard flooring themselves
                                                                                                                                        • Style less important than function and durability
                                                                                                                                        • Attitudes Towards Buying Flooring

                                                                                                                                          • Key points
                                                                                                                                            • Redecorating a big opportunity for flooring sales
                                                                                                                                              • Figure 45: Statements on buying floorcoverings, March 2010
                                                                                                                                            • Waiting for the sales before buying
                                                                                                                                              • Helping with the complete look
                                                                                                                                                • Breaking down the barriers to purchasing
                                                                                                                                                • Target Groups

                                                                                                                                                  • Key points
                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 46: Target buying groups for floorcoverings, March 2010
                                                                                                                                                    • Matchers (10%)
                                                                                                                                                      • Quality Focused (16%)
                                                                                                                                                        • Non-decorating Buyers (20%)
                                                                                                                                                          • Sales Purchasers (17%)
                                                                                                                                                            • Apathetic (37%)
                                                                                                                                                            • Appendix – Internal Market Environment

                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 47: Agreement with lifestyle statements relating to the home, by demographics, 2009
                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 48: Leading sources of imports of carpets and other floorcoverings, 2005-09
                                                                                                                                                            • Appendix – Ownership and Purchasing Patterns

                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 49: Ownership of carpets, wooden floors and other floorcoverings/tiles, by demographics, 2009
                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 50: Types of flooring have at home, by demographics, March 2010
                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 51: Number of rooms having carpet at home, by demographics, March 2010
                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 52: Number of rooms having laminate flooring at home, by demographics, March 2010
                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 53: Number of rooms having real wood flooring at home, by demographics, March 2010
                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 54: Number of rooms having ceramic tiles at home, by demographics, March 2010
                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 55: Number of rooms having vinyl at home, by demographics, March 2010
                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 56: Rooms with real wood flooring in home, by number of rooms with real wood flooring at home, March 2010
                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 57: Rooms with ceramic tiles in home, by number of rooms with ceramic tiles at home, March 2010
                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 58: Rooms with vinyl in home, by number of rooms with vinyl at home, March 2010
                                                                                                                                                            • Appendix – Factors Influencing Choice

                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 59: Factors influencing choice of carpets for home, by demographics, March 2010
                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 60: Factors influencing choice of carpets for home, by demographics, March 2010
                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 61: Factors influencing choice of carpets for home, by demographics March 2010
                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 62: Most important factor in choosing carpets for home, by demographics, March 2010
                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 63: Factors influencing choice of hard/smooth flooring for home, by demographics, March 2010
                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 64: Factors influencing choice of hard/smooth flooring for home, by demographics, March 2010
                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 65: Factors influencing choice of hard/smooth flooring for home, by demographics, March 2010
                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 66: Most important factor in choosing hard/smooth flooring for home, by demographics, March 2010
                                                                                                                                                            • Appendix – Attitudes Towards Flooring

                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 67: Attitudes towards buying floorcoverings, by demographics, March 2010
                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 68: Attitudes towards buying floorcoverings, by demographics, March 2010
                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 69: Attitudes towards buying floorcoverings, by demographics, March 2010
                                                                                                                                                            • Appendix – Target Groups

                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 70: Target buying groups for floorcoverings, by demographics, March 2010
                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 71: Attitudes towards buying floorcoverings, by target groups, March 2010
                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 72: Types of flooring have at home, by target groups, March 2010
                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 73: Factors influencing choice of carpets for home, by target groups, March 2010
                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 74: Most important factor in choosing carpets for home, by target groups, March 2010
                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 75: Factors influencing choice of hard/smooth flooring for home, by target groups, March 2010
                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 76: Most important factor in choosing hard/smooth flooring for home, by target groups, March 2010
                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 77: Number of rooms having carpet at home, by target groups, March 2010
                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 78: Number of rooms having laminate flooring at home, by target groups, March 2010
                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 79: Number of rooms having real wood flooring at home, by target groups, March 2010
                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 80: Number of rooms having ceramic tiles at home, by target groups, March 2010
                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 81: Number of rooms having vinyl at home, by target groups, March 2010

                                                                                                                                                            Companies Covered

                                                                                                                                                            • Aldi Stores Ltd (UK & Ireland)
                                                                                                                                                            • Allied Floors Ltd
                                                                                                                                                            • Argos
                                                                                                                                                            • Asda Group Ltd
                                                                                                                                                            • British Sky Broadcasting Group plc (BSkyB)
                                                                                                                                                            • Carbon Trust
                                                                                                                                                            • Carpetright UK
                                                                                                                                                            • Co-operative Group
                                                                                                                                                            • Dunelm (Soft Furnishings) Ltd
                                                                                                                                                            • Fired Earth Plc
                                                                                                                                                            • Floors 2 go
                                                                                                                                                            • Focus
                                                                                                                                                            • Forest Stewardship Council
                                                                                                                                                            • Freeview
                                                                                                                                                            • Google UK
                                                                                                                                                            • Government Actuary's Department (GAD)
                                                                                                                                                            • Home Retail Group
                                                                                                                                                            • Homebase Ltd
                                                                                                                                                            • IKEA
                                                                                                                                                            • J. Sainsbury
                                                                                                                                                            • John Lewis Partnership
                                                                                                                                                            • Kantar Media
                                                                                                                                                            • Kingfisher Group
                                                                                                                                                            • Kingfisher UK & Ireland
                                                                                                                                                            • Laura Ashley Group
                                                                                                                                                            • Lidl (UK)
                                                                                                                                                            • Marks & Spencer
                                                                                                                                                            • mmO2 plc
                                                                                                                                                            • Netto Foodstores Ltd
                                                                                                                                                            • Orange plc (UK)
                                                                                                                                                            • Pergo AB
                                                                                                                                                            • Storey Carpets Ltd
                                                                                                                                                            • T-Mobile (UK) Ltd
                                                                                                                                                            • Tesco Plc
                                                                                                                                                            • Topps Tiles (UK)
                                                                                                                                                            • Travis Perkins Retail
                                                                                                                                                            • United Carpets Group plc
                                                                                                                                                            • Victoria Carpets
                                                                                                                                                            • Victoria Plc
                                                                                                                                                            • Virgin Media Ltd
                                                                                                                                                            • Virgin Mobile
                                                                                                                                                            • Vivienne Westwood Ltd
                                                                                                                                                            • Vodafone Group Plc (UK)
                                                                                                                                                            • Waitrose
                                                                                                                                                            • Wm Morrison Supermarkets

                                                                                                                                                            Carpets and Floorcoverings - UK - May 2010

                                                                                                                                                            £1,995.00 (Excl.Tax)