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Furniture Retailing - UK - August 2013

“Retailing is changing. This is partly due to the advent of the internet and partly because of a growing reluctance to drive to out-of-town stores. Furniture retailers have adapted to the internet, their next challenge is to think long and hard about the future of the superstore. Their first move must be to experiment with moves back to the high street (or, at least, to secondary locations) and see to what extent smaller stores and the internet together can work better or as well as larger out-of-town stores.”

– Richard Perks, Director of Retail Research

Some questions answered in this report include:

  • What makes for success in furniture retailing?
  • Time for furniture retailers to move away from a marketing strategy based on being permanently on Sale and interest-free credit?
  • Just how important are low prices?
  • Online will it kill furniture stores? Does a furniture retailer have to be online?
  • Is there a future for the superstore?

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Table of contents

  1. Introduction

      • Definitions
        • Financial definitions
          • Abbreviations
          • Executive Summary

              • The market
                • Looking for the recovery
                  • Figure 1: Spending on furniture, 2008-18
                • A £13 billion market
                  • Reasons for (very) modest optimism
                    • Change in attitudes
                      • Companies, brands and innovation
                        • Space allocation summary
                          • Figure 2: Major furniture retailers: Summary space allocation, June 2013
                        • Ikea dominates
                            • Figure 3: Leading furniture retailers: Share of all spending on furniture, 2012
                          • The consumer
                            • Who shops where?
                                • Figure 4: Furniture shops bought from the in the last three years, June 2013
                              • Factors in determining which store to visit
                                • Figure 5: Factors important when buying furniture, June 2013
                              • Online and in-store – how they interact
                                • Figure 6: Attitudes to buying furniture, online and in-store, June 2013
                              • What we think
                              • Issues in the Market

                                  • What makes for success in furniture retailing?
                                    • Time for furniture retailers to move away from a marketing strategy based on being permanently on Sale and interest-free credit?
                                      • Just how important are low prices?
                                        • Online will it kill furniture stores? Does a furniture retailer have to be online?
                                          • Is there a future for the superstore?
                                          • Trend Application

                                              • Prove it
                                                • Patriot Games
                                                  • Mintel Futures: Human
                                                  • The Market Environment

                                                    • Key points
                                                      • The downturn continues
                                                        • Figure 7: GDP, PDI, consumer expenditure and savings, at current prices, 2008-18
                                                        • Figure 8: GDP, PDI, consumer expenditure and savings, at constant 2008 prices, 2008-18
                                                        • Figure 9: UK: The income squeeze – inflation and wages growth, 2008-13
                                                      • Consumer confidence
                                                        • Figure 10: How consumers feel about their current financial situation, Feb 2009-Jun 2013
                                                      • Inflation
                                                        • Figure 11: Inflation in furniture and furnishings, June 2012 – June 2013
                                                      • Second hand
                                                        • Housing market
                                                          • Figure 12: Average house prices, 2009-13
                                                          • Figure 13: Housing transactions – quarterly, not seasonally adjusted, 2006-13
                                                        • Housing equity withdrawal
                                                          • Figure 14: Housing equity withdrawal, 2005-13
                                                      • Who's Innovating?

                                                        • Key points
                                                          • In-store events
                                                            • Design on the go
                                                              • More convenient delivery options
                                                                • Ikea hotel
                                                                • Consumer Spending and Forecasts

                                                                  • Key points
                                                                    • Reasons for (very) modest optimism
                                                                      • The forecast
                                                                        • Figure 15: Spending on furniture, 2008-18
                                                                      • Impact of the recession
                                                                          • Figure 16: Furniture spending: detailed forecast data, 2008-18
                                                                          • Figure 17: UK: Spending on furniture, by category (incl vat), 2007-12
                                                                      • Furniture Specialists’ Sales

                                                                        • Key points
                                                                          • Figure 18: Sales, by furniture specialists, 2008-12
                                                                          • Figure 19: Furniture retailers sales as % all non-food retailers sales, 2000-13
                                                                      • Strengths and Weaknesses

                                                                          • Strengths
                                                                            • Weaknesses
                                                                            • Competitive Context

                                                                              • Key points
                                                                                • Furniture buying in context
                                                                                  • Figure 20: UK consumer spending on major home products (incl vat), 2007-12
                                                                                • Interest in home fashions
                                                                                  • Figure 21: What money left over at the end of the month is spent on, June 2013
                                                                              • Channels of Distribution

                                                                                    • Figure 22: UK Furniture: Estimated channels of distribution (excl vat), 2012
                                                                                  • Online
                                                                                  • Space Allocation Summary

                                                                                    • Key points
                                                                                      • Space allocation summary
                                                                                        • Figure 23: Major furniture retailers: Summary space allocation, June 2013
                                                                                        • Figure 24: Furniture retailers: Detailed space allocation, June 2013
                                                                                      • Retailer product mix
                                                                                          • Figure 25: Furniture retailers product mix, 2012
                                                                                      • Retail Competitor Analysis

                                                                                        • Key points
                                                                                          • Specialists
                                                                                              • Figure 26: Leading specialist retailers, Sales, 2007/08 – 2012/13
                                                                                            • Profitability
                                                                                              • Figure 27: Leading furniture specialists: Operating profits, 2007/08-2012/13
                                                                                              • Figure 28: Leading furniture specialists: Operating margins, 2007/08-2012/13
                                                                                            • Outlets and space
                                                                                              • Figure 29: Leading furniture specialists: Outlet numbers, 2007/08-2012/13
                                                                                              • Figure 30: Leading furniture specialists: Sales per outlet, 2007/08-2012/13
                                                                                              • Figure 31: Leading furniture specialists: Sales per sq m, 2007/08-2012/13
                                                                                            • Non-specialists
                                                                                              • Figure 32: Total sales of leading non-specialists that sell furniture, 2007/8-2012/13
                                                                                              • Figure 33: Estimated furniture sales of leading non-specialists 2012/13
                                                                                          • Market shares

                                                                                              • Sales relative to spending on furniture
                                                                                                • Figure 34: Leading retailers of furniture: share of furniture spending, 2009-12
                                                                                              • Sales relative to furniture specialists’ sales
                                                                                                • Figure 35: Leading furniture specialists: share of furniture retailers sales, 2009-12
                                                                                            • Brand Communication and Promotion

                                                                                              • Key points
                                                                                                • Advertising spend on furniture
                                                                                                  • Figure 36: Main media advertising expenditure on furniture and furnishings, 2009-13
                                                                                                • The top 10 advertisers account for more than half of the total advertising spend in the market
                                                                                                  • Figure 37: Main media advertising expenditure on furniture and furnishings, 2012
                                                                                                • Advertising spend by the top ten
                                                                                                  • Figure 38: Main media advertising expenditure on furniture and furnishings, by top 10 advertisers, 2008-12
                                                                                                  • Figure 39: Selected retailers’ advertising expenditure as a percentage of turnover, 2012
                                                                                                • Advertising expenditure by media type
                                                                                                  • Figure 40: Main media advertising expenditure on furniture and furnishings, by media type, 2008-12
                                                                                                • How the year shapes up
                                                                                                  • Figure 41: Main media advertising expenditure on furniture and furnishings, by month, 2012
                                                                                              • The Consumer – What They Own and What They Plan to Buy

                                                                                                • Key points
                                                                                                  • Who owns what
                                                                                                      • Figure 42: Proportion of the population owning particular items of furniture, June 2013
                                                                                                    • Planned purchases
                                                                                                      • Figure 43: What furniture people plan to buy in the next 12 months, June 2013
                                                                                                      • Figure 44: Profile of those planning to buy furniture in the next 12 months, June 2013
                                                                                                  • The Consumer – Who Shops Where?

                                                                                                    • Key points
                                                                                                      • Leading retailers
                                                                                                          • Figure 45: Furniture shops bought from the in the last 3 years, June 2013
                                                                                                        • Comparisons with 2012
                                                                                                            • Figure 46: Furniture shops bought from the in the last 3 years, June 2013
                                                                                                          • Customer profiles
                                                                                                              • Figure 47: Shopper profile of leading stores, both online and offline, June 2013
                                                                                                            • Online-offline
                                                                                                                • Figure 48: Shopper profiles of leading online and off-line retailers, June 2013
                                                                                                              • Repertoire
                                                                                                                • Instore
                                                                                                                  • Figure 49: Numbers of furniture shops bought from in last three years, June 2013
                                                                                                                  • Figure 50: Profile of shoppers by number of furniture stores bought from in the last 3 years, June 2013
                                                                                                                • Online
                                                                                                                  • Figure 51: Numbers of furniture online retailers bought from in last three years, June 2013
                                                                                                                  • Figure 52: Profile of shoppers by number of furniture online sites bought from in the last 3 years, June 2013
                                                                                                                • Discussion group comments
                                                                                                                • The Consumer – Factors in Determining Which Store to Visit

                                                                                                                  • Key points
                                                                                                                    • Key factors
                                                                                                                        • Figure 53: Factors important when buying furniture, June 2013
                                                                                                                      • 2012 and 2013
                                                                                                                        • Profile of consumers
                                                                                                                            • Figure 54: Profile of those liking particular factors in buying furniture, June 2013
                                                                                                                          • Retailers and key factors in choosing a store
                                                                                                                              • Figure 55: Key factors in choosing a store and retailers bought from in last 3 years, June 2013
                                                                                                                          • The Consumer – Online vs In-store

                                                                                                                            • Key points
                                                                                                                              • Online and in-store
                                                                                                                                  • Figure 56: Attitudes to buying furniture, online and in-store, June 2013
                                                                                                                                  • Figure 57: Profile of holders of attitudes online vs in-store, June 2013
                                                                                                                                  • Figure 58: Attitudes to online and in-store of people who have bought furniture in the last 3 years, June 2013
                                                                                                                              • Retailer Profiles

                                                                                                                                • DFS
                                                                                                                                  • Background
                                                                                                                                    • Strategic evaluation
                                                                                                                                      • Financial performance
                                                                                                                                        • Figure 59: DFS financial performance, 2007/08-2011/12
                                                                                                                                      • Store portfolio
                                                                                                                                        • Figure 60: DFS outlet data, 2008-12
                                                                                                                                      • Retail offering
                                                                                                                                        • Marketing
                                                                                                                                          • Advertising
                                                                                                                                            • E-commerce and home shopping
                                                                                                                                              • Dreams
                                                                                                                                                • Background
                                                                                                                                                  • Strategic evaluation
                                                                                                                                                    • Financial performance
                                                                                                                                                      • Store portfolio
                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 61: Dreams outlet data, 2008-12
                                                                                                                                                      • Retail offering
                                                                                                                                                        • Marketing and advertising
                                                                                                                                                          • E-commerce and home shopping
                                                                                                                                                            • Sharps
                                                                                                                                                              • Background
                                                                                                                                                                • Strategic evaluation
                                                                                                                                                                  • Financial performance
                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 62: Sharps Bedrooms Ltd., Financial performance, 2012
                                                                                                                                                                  • Store portfolio
                                                                                                                                                                    • Retail offering
                                                                                                                                                                      • Marketing and advertising
                                                                                                                                                                        • E-commerce and home shopping
                                                                                                                                                                          • Dwell
                                                                                                                                                                            • Background
                                                                                                                                                                              • Administration
                                                                                                                                                                                • Strategic evaluation
                                                                                                                                                                                  • Financial performance
                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 63: Dwell Retail Limited, Financial performance, 2007/08-2011/12
                                                                                                                                                                                  • Store portfolio
                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 64: Dwell outlet data, 2008-12
                                                                                                                                                                                  • Retail offering
                                                                                                                                                                                    • Marketing and advertising
                                                                                                                                                                                      • E-commerce and home shopping
                                                                                                                                                                                        • Ikea
                                                                                                                                                                                          • Background
                                                                                                                                                                                            • Strategic evaluation
                                                                                                                                                                                              • Financial performance
                                                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 65: Ikea Limited, Financial performance, 2007/08-2011/12
                                                                                                                                                                                              • Store portfolio
                                                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 66: Ikea Limited, Outlet data, 2008-12
                                                                                                                                                                                              • Retail offering
                                                                                                                                                                                                • Marketing and advertising
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • E-commerce and home shopping
                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Nobia UK
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Background
                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Strategic evaluation
                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Financial performance
                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 67: Nobia UK Group financial performance, 2007-11
                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Store portfolio
                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 68: Nobia UK outlet data, 2008-12
                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Retail offering
                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Marketing and advertising
                                                                                                                                                                                                              • E-commerce and home shopping
                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Furniture Village
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Background
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Strategic evaluation
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Financial performance
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 69: Furniture Village, Financial performance, 2007/08-2011/12
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Store portfolio
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 70: Furniture Village, Store numbers, 2008-12
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Retail offering
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Marketing and advertising
                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • E-commerce and home shopping
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • ScS
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Background
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Strategic evaluation
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Financial performance
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 71: ScS financial performance, 2007/08-2011/12
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Store portfolio
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 72: ScS outlet data, 2008-12
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Retail offering
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Marketing and advertising
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • E-commerce and home shopping
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Steinhoff
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Background
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Strategic evaluation
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Financial performance
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 73: Steinhoff UK, Financial performance, 2007/08-2011/12
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Store portfolio
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 74: Steinhoff, Outlet data, 2008-12
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Retail offering
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Marketing and advertising
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • E-commerce and home shopping
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Oak Furniture Land
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Background
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Strategic evaluation
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Financial performance
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 75: Oak Furniture Land (JB Direct), Financial performance, 2009/10-2011/12
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Store portfolio
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 76: Oak Furniture Land, 2010-12
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Retail offering
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • E-commerce and home shopping
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Appendix – The Consumer – Who Owns What

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 77: Most popular ownership of home furniture, by demographics, June 2013
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 78: Next most popular ownership of home furniture, by demographics, June 2013
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Appendix – The Consumer – Who Plans To Buy What

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 79: Most popular plans to buy home furniture in the next 12 months, by demographics, June 2013
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 80: Next most popular plans to buy home furniture in the next 12 months, by demographics, June 2013
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Appendix – The Consumer – Who Buys Where

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 81: Most popular where furniture has been bought either instore/online in the last three years, by demographics, June 2013
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 82: Next most popular where furniture has been bought either instore/online in the last three years, by demographics, June 2013
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 83: Other where furniture has been bought either instore/online in the last three years, by demographics, June 2013
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 84: Most popular where furniture has been bought either instore/online in the last three years, by demographics, June 2013
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 85: Next most popular where furniture has been bought either instore in the last three years, by demographics, June 2013
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 86: Other where furniture has been bought either instore in the last three years, by demographics, June 2013
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 87: Least popular where furniture has been bought either instore in the last three years, by demographics, June 2013
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 88: Most popular where furniture has been bought either instore in the last three years, by demographics, June 2013
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 89: Next most popular where furniture has been bought either online in the last three years, by demographics, June 2013
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 90: Next most popular where furniture has been bought either online in the last three years, by demographics, June 2013
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 91: Other where furniture has been bought either online in the last three years, by demographics, June 2013
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 92: Least popular where furniture has been bought either online in the last three years, by demographics, June 2013
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Repertoire
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 93: Where furniture has been bought instore in the last three years, by demographics, June 2013
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 94: Where furniture has been bought online in the last three years, by demographics, June 2013
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Appendix – The Consumer – Factors in Determining Which Stores to Visit

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 95: Most popular factors important when buying furniture, by demographics, June 2013
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 96: Next most popular factors important when buying furniture, by demographics, June 2013
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 97: Other factors important when buying furniture, by demographics, June 2013
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Appendix – The Consumer Online vs Offline

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 98: Most popular plans to buy home furniture in the next 12 months, by demographics, June 2013
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 99: Next most popular plans to buy home furniture in the next 12 months, by demographics, June 2013
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 100: Other plans to buy home furniture in the next 12 months, by demographics, June 2013

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Companies Covered

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Argos
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • B&Q (UK & Ireland)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Barker and Stonehouse Ltd
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Bensons Bed Centres Ltd
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Comet Group Ltd
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Dean House Plc
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • DFS Furniture Holdings Plc
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Dreams Plc
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Dwell
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Fishpools Ltd
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Heal's Plc
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Homebase Ltd
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • IKEA
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • John Lewis Partnership
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Magnet Ltd
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Marks & Spencer (UK)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Multiyork Furniture Ltd
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Next Group
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Nobia (UK)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Oak Furniture Land
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • ScS Upholstery Plc
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Sharps
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Smallbone & Co (Devizes) Ltd
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Sofology
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Steinhoff UK
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Sterling Furniture Group Ltd
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Stokers Ltd
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • The HomeForm Group
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • The Range / CDS (Superstores International) Ltd

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Furniture Retailing - UK - August 2013

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            £1,995.00 (Excl.Tax)