Sorry for interrupting, this website uses cookies to improve your experience. We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish. Learn more
Accept & Close

Furniture Retailing - UK - August 2010

  • Just under half of adults (25 million) look for lasting quality when deciding where to buy furniture. Retailers need to prove their quality credentials through inviting customer reviews and demonstrating how items can stand up to heavy usage, including the kids.
  • Service is also important and four in ten adults (20 million) are influenced by the presence of knowledgeable and helpful staff when choosing between stores. The role of staff needs to be one of consultant rather than sales person, identifying customer needs and coming up with a shortlist of best options.
  • Visiting showrooms is a key part of the multichannel buying process for furniture. Four out of ten adults (20 million) visit a number of furniture stores before buying, so there is an opportunity for retailers to make visiting a showroom more of an experience in itself through making them look and feel more like a home.
  • More than a third of adults (18 million) browse websites before buying in a store, while a fifth (10 million) browse and purchase online. There is scope to grow the number of purchasers for certain types of product, but furniture needs to be brought more alive through the use of pictures and videos that present it in the context of the home rather than on a blank page.
  • To shorten replacement cycles for furniture, retailers need to target the needs of different lifestages with particular product ranges or put a heavier emphasis on particular features for certain groups such as young adults still living at home, new families or empty nesters.
  • Lessons could be taken from the fashion market in terms of helping customers ‘create a look for less’. Redecoration of a room (33%) and wanting a new look/style (30%) are important reasons for buying furniture, so furniture retailers should focus on helping customers create a complete home interiors look, including furniture, on a limited budget.

What you get

What's included

Why buy from us?

Succeed

Our reports will provide you with market data, consumer research and competitive intelligence to succeed in your market.

Instant Access

Buy now and you'll have instant access to the information you need to make the right decisions.

Opportunities

Find out what's next in the markets that matter to you: where opportunities lie and what challenges you will face.

Trusted

A business Superbrand, Mintel is a source you can trust. We have been defining and refining the Market Intelligence mix since 1972.

Table of contents

  1. Issues in the Market

      • Key themes
        • Definitions
          • Abbreviations
          • Future Opportunities

              • The interactive makeover
                • Diversifying the message
                  • ‘Talkin’ bout the young style…’
                    • ‘Talkin’ bout the old style, too…’
                      • ‘Fashion for the home’
                        • Less space to move, more room to breath
                          • The big clear-out
                          • Market in Brief

                            • Furniture sales hit by recession
                              • Major casualties adds to the gloom
                                • Need to shorten replacement cycles
                                  • IKEA the top choice for buying furniture
                                    • Dreams records big increase in market share
                                      • Quality and service important, but focus remains on price
                                        • Considered approach to furniture buying
                                          • Fragile recovery in the sector
                                          • Internal Market Environment

                                            • Key points
                                              • Decline in furniture purchasing
                                                • Figure 1: Penetration and purchasing of furniture, by major furniture categories, 2005-09
                                              • Rising costs push up consumer prices
                                                • Figure 2: Consumer Price Index for furniture and furnishings, January 2008-June 2010
                                                • Figure 3: Monthly changes in consumer price index for furniture and furnishings, January 2008-June 2010
                                              • Company failures peaked in late 2008 and early 2009
                                                • Imports dominate UK furniture market
                                                  • Figure 4: Overseas trade in wooden furniture for the kitchen and bedroom, 2005-09
                                                  • Figure 5: Source of imports of wooden furniture for the kitchen and bedroom, by country, 2005-09
                                              • Broader Market Environment

                                                • Key points
                                                  • Furniture hit harder than all retail sales
                                                    • Figure 6: Year-on-year changes in retail sales through furniture specialists and all retail sales, by value, at current prices, 2007-10
                                                  • Slump in housing market impacting on sales
                                                      • Figure 7: Number of residential housing transactions* (not seasonally adjusted), 2007-10
                                                    • Fall in borrowing against value of homes
                                                      • Figure 8: Housing equity withdrawal – seasonally adjusted, 2007-10
                                                    • Weakness of the pound hits margins
                                                      • Figure 9: Trends in exchange rate between the US Dollar and Euro and Sterling, 2007-10
                                                    • More households a boost to the market
                                                      • Figure 10: UK households, by size, 2005-15
                                                      • Figure 11: Number of different types of room in the home, 2005-09
                                                    • Ageing population less likely to buy furniture
                                                      • Figure 12: Trends in the age structure of the UK population, 2005-15
                                                      • Figure 13: Forecast adult population trends, by socio-economic group, 2005-15
                                                    • Strong interest in improving the home
                                                      • Figure 14: Agreement with selected lifestyle statements, 2005-09
                                                  • Competitive Context

                                                    • Key points
                                                      • Big-ticket household items suffer the most
                                                        • Figure 15: Comparison of sales of furniture with other household markets, 2005-10
                                                      • Furniture a low spending priority
                                                        • Figure 16: Expenditure priorities, 2007-10
                                                    • Strengths and Weaknesses in the Market

                                                      • Strengths
                                                        • Weaknesses
                                                        • Who’s Innovating?

                                                          • Key points
                                                            • IKEA Kitchen Squad
                                                              • Inspiration Tour at Moben, Sharps and Dolphin
                                                                • Personalised wardrobes from Furniture Village
                                                                  • IKEA launches catalogue iPhone application
                                                                    • Homebase transforms station
                                                                      • Bespoke upholstery from John Lewis
                                                                        • Tesco enters fitted kitchens market
                                                                          • Heal’s celebrates designer heritage
                                                                            • The Kitchenista at Magnet
                                                                              • Wickes trials kitchen and bathroom stores
                                                                              • Market Size and Forecast

                                                                                • Key points
                                                                                  • Furniture takes a big hit from recession
                                                                                    • Figure 17: UK retail sales of furniture*, at current and constant prices, 2005-15
                                                                                  • Incomes squeeze set to impact on furniture
                                                                                  • Channels of Distribution

                                                                                    • Key points
                                                                                      • Mixed picture for furniture specialists
                                                                                        • Figure 18: UK retail sales of furniture*, by channel of distribution, 2005-09
                                                                                      • Non-specialists and the internet make gains
                                                                                        • Direct shopping services grow supermarket presence
                                                                                        • Retail Competitor Analysis

                                                                                          • Key points
                                                                                            • IKEA the leading specialist by some distance
                                                                                              • Figure 19: Leading UK furniture retailers, 2009/10
                                                                                            • Recent growth for DIY stores in furniture sector
                                                                                              • Figure 20: Estimated market shares of the UK furniture maket, by value, 2005-09
                                                                                          • Retailer Profiles

                                                                                            • Specialists
                                                                                              • DFS
                                                                                                  • Figure 21: DFS Trading Ltd, financial performance, 2005-09
                                                                                                • Dreams
                                                                                                    • Figure 22: Dreams plc, financial performance, 2005-09
                                                                                                  • Furniture Village
                                                                                                      • Figure 23: Furniture Village, financial performance, 2005-09
                                                                                                    • HomeForm Group
                                                                                                        • Figure 24: HomeForm Group, financial performance, 2008 and 2009
                                                                                                      • Steinhoff UK
                                                                                                          • Figure 25: Steinhoff UK (Homestyle Group), financial performance, 2005-09
                                                                                                          • Figure 26: Retail offering and store portfolio of Steinhoff UK, August 2010
                                                                                                        • IKEA
                                                                                                            • Figure 27: IKEA Ltd, financial performance, 2005-09
                                                                                                          • Magnet
                                                                                                              • Figure 28: Magnet Ltd, financial performance, 2005-09
                                                                                                            • ScS Upholstery
                                                                                                                • Figure 29: ScS Upholstery (A Share & Sons Ltd), financial performance, 2005-09
                                                                                                              • Bathstore
                                                                                                                • Multiyork
                                                                                                                  • Sterling Furniture
                                                                                                                    • Feather & Black
                                                                                                                      • Sofa Workshop
                                                                                                                        • Non-specialists
                                                                                                                          • Home Retail Group
                                                                                                                            • Argos
                                                                                                                              • Homebase
                                                                                                                                • B&Q
                                                                                                                                  • John Lewis
                                                                                                                                    • Next
                                                                                                                                      • Marks & Spencer
                                                                                                                                        • Laura Ashley
                                                                                                                                          • Habitat
                                                                                                                                            • Heal’s
                                                                                                                                            • Brand Elements

                                                                                                                                              • Key points
                                                                                                                                                • Brand map
                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 30: Attitudes towards and usage of furniture retail stores, June 2010
                                                                                                                                                  • Brand qualities of furniture retail stores
                                                                                                                                                    • Furniture specialists lack strength of image – IKEA excepted
                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 31: Personalities of various furniture retail stores, June 2010
                                                                                                                                                    • Experience of furniture retail stores
                                                                                                                                                      • Argos most visited
                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 32: Consumer usage of various furniture retail stores, June 2010
                                                                                                                                                      • Brand consideration for furniture retail stores
                                                                                                                                                        • Homebase most considered
                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 33: Consideration of various furniture retail stores, June 2010
                                                                                                                                                        • Brand satisfaction for furniture retail stores
                                                                                                                                                          • John Lewis has highest satisfaction
                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 34: Satisfaction with various furniture retail stores, June 2010
                                                                                                                                                          • Brand commitment to furniture retail stores
                                                                                                                                                            • Furniture stores lack loyalty
                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 35: Commitment to various furniture retail stores, June 2010
                                                                                                                                                            • Brand intentions for furniture retail stores
                                                                                                                                                              • Argos and IKEA have best retention, other specialists weakest
                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 36: Future usage intentions for various furniture retail stores, June 2010
                                                                                                                                                              • Brand recommendation for furniture retail stores
                                                                                                                                                                • Argos affordable, IKEA on-trend, John Lewis for quality
                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 37: Recommendation of various furniture retail stores, June 2010
                                                                                                                                                                • John Lewis
                                                                                                                                                                  • What the consumer thinks
                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 38: Attitudes towards the John Lewis store brand, June 2010
                                                                                                                                                                  • Harveys
                                                                                                                                                                    • What the consumer thinks
                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 39: Attitudes towards the Harveys store brand, June 2010
                                                                                                                                                                    • Argos
                                                                                                                                                                      • What the consumer thinks
                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 40: Attitudes towards the Argos brand, June 2010
                                                                                                                                                                      • DFS
                                                                                                                                                                        • What the consumer thinks
                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 41: Attitudes towards the DFS brand, June 2010
                                                                                                                                                                        • IKEA
                                                                                                                                                                          • What the consumer thinks
                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 42: Attitudes towards the IKEA brand, June 2010
                                                                                                                                                                        • Brand Communication and Promotion

                                                                                                                                                                          • Key points
                                                                                                                                                                            • Big advertising budgets in furniture sector
                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 43: Main media advertising expenditure on furniture and furnishings, 2006-09
                                                                                                                                                                            • DFS by far the biggest furniture advertiser
                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 44: Main media advertsing expenditure on furniture and furnishings, by top 25 advertisers, 2006-09
                                                                                                                                                                            • Press and TV the dominant media
                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 45: Main media advertsing expenditure on furniture and furnishings, by media type, 2006-09
                                                                                                                                                                            • Peaks in spending during sale periods
                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 46: Main media advertsing expenditure on furniture and furnishings, by month, 2009
                                                                                                                                                                          • Where They Shop for Furniture

                                                                                                                                                                            • Key points
                                                                                                                                                                              • Three in ten buy furniture from IKEA
                                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 47: Outlets used to purchase any furniture in the last three years, 2006-10
                                                                                                                                                                              • Mix of specialists changing, but IKEA the dominant player
                                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 48: Purchasing of furniture from IKEA in the last three years, by age, socio-economic group and Mintel’s Special Groups, May 2010
                                                                                                                                                                              • DFS the leader among sofa specialists
                                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 49: Purchasing of furniture from DFS in the last three years, by age, socio-economic group and Mintel’s Special Groups, May 2010
                                                                                                                                                                              • Strong competition from non-specialists
                                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 50: Purchasing of furniture from DIY stores and Argos in the last three years, by age and socio-economic group, May 2010
                                                                                                                                                                              • Non-buyers at opposite ends of the age spectrum
                                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 51: Those not buying furniture in the last three years, by age, socio-economic group and Mintel’s Special Groups, May 2010
                                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 52: Positioning of furniture retailers, by age and affluence, May 2010
                                                                                                                                                                              • Three in ten bought from only one outlet
                                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 53: Number of different outlets used to purchase any furniture in the last three years, May 2010
                                                                                                                                                                            • Factors Influencing Choice of Store

                                                                                                                                                                              • Key points
                                                                                                                                                                                • Quality and service key drivers of retailer choice
                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 54: Factors influencing choice of store for buying furniture, May 2010
                                                                                                                                                                                • Desire for quality as an investment
                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 55: Influence of quality and size of ranges on choice of store for buying furniture, by lifestage and Mintel’s Special Groups, May 2010
                                                                                                                                                                                  • Special offers and discounts a big factor
                                                                                                                                                                                    • Service counts a lot for furniture shoppers
                                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 56: Influence of ‘knowledgeable and helpful staff’ on choice of store for buying furniture, by age, socio-economic group and Mintel’s Special Groups, May 2010
                                                                                                                                                                                      • Immediate availability more important than interest-free credit
                                                                                                                                                                                        • Few prefer flat pack, but assembly not a big issue
                                                                                                                                                                                          • Few concerns about company failures
                                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 57: Summary of factors influencing choice of store for buying furniture, by key demographic characteristics and outlet bias, by May 2010
                                                                                                                                                                                          • Shopping Behaviour When Buying Furniture

                                                                                                                                                                                            • Key points
                                                                                                                                                                                              • Plenty of research before buying
                                                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 58: Statements on buying behaviour of furniture, May 2010
                                                                                                                                                                                              • Showrooms still vital for furniture retailing
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 59: ‘Visit a number of furniture outlets in person before buying’, by age, socio-economic group and Mintel’s Special Groups, May 2010
                                                                                                                                                                                                • Repeat business in a competitive market
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Looking for value for money and waiting for sales
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 60: value for money versus cheapest price and waiting for the sales when shopping for furniture, by age and socio-economic group, May 2010
                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Growing role for the internet in buying process
                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 61: Usage of the internet in the buying process when shopping for furniture, by age and socio-economic group, May 2010
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Not ignoring the role of catalogues
                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 62: ‘Looking through catalogues before visiting shops’, by outlets used for buying furniture in the last three years, May 2010
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Wanting knowledgeable staff to be there just in case
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Reasons for Buying Furniture

                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Key points
                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Wide range of factors drive purchasing
                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 63: Reasons for purchase of furniture in the last three years, May 2010
                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Need for a refresh drives replacement
                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Keeping up with changing fashions
                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 64: Those buying furniture to get a new look/style, by age and socio-economic group, May 2010
                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Meeting changing family needs
                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 65: Those buying furniture in response to need for more storage, a house move or changing familiy needs, by age and socio-economic group, May 2010
                                                                                                                                                                                                              • First-time buyers key for market growth
                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 66: First-time home purchasers buying furniture for the first time, by age and socio-economic group, May 2010
                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 67: Summary of reasons for buying furniture, by key demographic characteristics and outlet bias, by May 2010
                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Target Groups

                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Key points
                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 68: Target groups for furniture retailers, May 2010
                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Sale Shoppers (31%)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Furniture Enthusiasts (18%)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Apathetic (30%)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Online Focused (21%)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Appendix – Internal Market Environment

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 69: Penetration and purchasing of furniture by major items, by demographics, 2009
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 70: Penetration and purchasing of furniture by major items, by demographics, 2009
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Appendix – Broader Market Environment

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 71: Agreement with selected lifestyle statements, by demographics, 2009
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Appendix – Where They Shop for Furniture

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 72: Most popular outlets used to purchase any furniture in the last three years, by demographics, May 2010
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 73: Next most popular outlets used to purchase any furniture in the last three years, by demographics, May 2010
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 74: Other outlets used to purchase any furniture in the last three years, by demographics, May 2010
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 75: Repertoire of outlets used to purchase any furniture in the last three years, by demographics, May 2010
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 76: Outlets used to purchase any furniture in the last three years, by repertoire of outlets used to purchase any furniture in the last three years, May 2010
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Appendix – Factors Influencing Choice of Store

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 77: Most popular factors influencing choice of store to buy furniture, by demographics, May 2010
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 78: Next most popular factors influencing choice of store to buy furniture, by demographics, May 2010
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 79: Other factors influencing choice of store to buy furniture, by demographics, May 2010
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 80: Outlets used to purchase any furniture in the last three years, by most popular factors influencing choice of store to buy furniture, May 2010
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 81: Outlets used to purchase any furniture in the last three years by next most popular factors influencing choice of store to buy furniture, May 2010
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 82: Outlets used to purchase any furniture in the last three years, by other factors influencing choice of store to buy furniture, May 2010
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 83: Outlets used to purchase any furniture in the last three years, by least popular factors influencing choice of store to buy furniture, May 2010
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Appendix – Shopping Behaviour When Buying Furniture

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 84: Most popular statements on buying behaviour of furniture, by demographics, May 2010
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 85: Next most popular statements on buying behaviour of furniture, by demographics, May 2010
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 86: Other statements on buying behaviour of furniture, by demographics, May 2010
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 87: Outlets used to purchase any furniture in the last three years, by most popular statements on buying behaviour of furniture, May 2010
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 88: Outlets used to purchase any furniture in the last three years, by next most popular statements on buying behaviour of furniture, May 2010
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 89: Outlets used to purchase any furniture in the last three years, by other statements on buying behaviour of furniture, May 2010
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Appendix – Reasons for Buying Furniture

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 90: Most popular reasons for purchase of furniture in the last three years, by demographics, May 2010
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 91: Next most popular reasons for purchase of furniture in the last three years, by demographics, May 2010
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 92: Outlets used to purchase any furniture in the last three years, by most popular reasons for purchase of furniture in the last three years, May 2010
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 93: Outlets used to purchase any furniture in the last three years, by next most popular reasons for purchase of furniture in the last three years, May 2010
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 94: Outlets used to purchase any furniture in the last three years, by other reasons for purchase of furniture in the last three years, May 2010
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Appendix – Target Groups

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 95: Statements on buying behaviour of furniture, by target groups, May 2010
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 96: Target groups, by demographics
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 97: Outlets used to purchase any furniture in the last three years by target groups, May 2010
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 98: Factors influencing choice of store to buy furniture, by target groups, May 2010
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 99: Reasons for purchase of furniture in the last three years, by target groups, May 2010
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 100: Outlets used to purchase any furniture in the last three years, by target groups, May 2010

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Furniture Retailing - UK - August 2010

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    US $2,648.76 (Excl.Tax)