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Living and Dining Room Furniture - UK - February 2010

  • The days of the conventional three-piece suite are numbered. Less than one in five adults think buying upholstered furniture as a suite is important.
  • When buying a sofa two-thirds of consumers will go for the best they can afford whereas only one in ten will go for the cheapest available.
  • Sitting in front of the TV is the most common way to take most meals (17 million) and over four in ten adults want sofas that are easy to clean away spills and stains.
  • Sales and deals are now expected. Over a third of consumers usually wait for a sale before buying furniture for the living or dining room. Furniture retailers need to develop more inventive deals for customers to avoid consumer cynicism.
  • Having a great website is vital for retailers of living and dining furniture. More than four in ten adults do research online before visiting a store.
  • Furniture showrooms still have a big future. Half of adults want to test sofas in-store for comfort and more than four in ten think good customer service in-store is important.

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Table of contents

  1. Issues in the Market

      • Key themes
        • Definition
          • Abbreviations
          • Future Opportunities

              • Harnessing the potential of the digitally dependent
                • Selling to the swofties
                  • Selling the single lifestyle
                    • Bring Britain back to the table
                      • Love your dining room
                      • Market in Brief

                        • Recession dents demand for furniture
                          • Consumers are making furniture last longer
                            • TV use dominates the lounge
                              • Smaller homes with less space to dine
                                • Rise of general retailers
                                  • A cautious outlook
                                  • Internal Market Environment

                                    • Key points
                                      • Decrease in purchasing activity
                                        • Figure 1: Trends in ownership and purchasing of lounge/living room furniture, 2005-09
                                      • Who are the ‘new buyers’?
                                        • Trend to cheaper prices
                                          • Figure 2: Trends in amount spent on lounge/living room furniture, 2005-09
                                        • Sharp decline for the upper middle market
                                          • Some recovery in dining room furniture ownership
                                            • Figure 3: Trends in ownership and purchasing of dining room furniture, 2005-09
                                          • Dwellings are getting smaller
                                            • Figure 4: Trends in number of living rooms (including dining rooms) in home, 2005-09
                                          • Home is the hub for free time
                                            • Figure 5: Trends in agreement with selected lifestyle statements, 2005-09
                                          • Free time spent at home
                                            • Little change in entertaining
                                              • Return to family mealtimes
                                                • Longer timeframe between home revamps
                                                  • Less desire for inspiration
                                                    • Television influence
                                                      • Expanding into the loft
                                                        • Figure 6: Trends in home extensions, 2005-09
                                                      • Extensions should lead to additional demand
                                                        • Extensions could trigger new furniture for the lounge
                                                          • Conservatories often have different styles
                                                            • Rise of the general retailers
                                                              • Internet retailing
                                                                • Rising prices for raw materials push up costs
                                                                  • Figure 7: Consumer price indices for furniture and furnishings, January 2009-December 2009
                                                                • Cheap imports
                                                                  • Furniture retail casualties 2008/09
                                                                    • Figure 8: Furniture retailers with significant living and dining room assortment, entering administration, 2008/09
                                                                • Broader Market Environment

                                                                  • Key points
                                                                    • Discretionary spending down in the recession
                                                                      • Green shoots of recovery in late 2009
                                                                        • Figure 9: Trends in PDI, consumer expenditure and GDP, at current prices, 2004-14
                                                                      • Discretionary purchases delayed
                                                                        • The housing market
                                                                          • Figure 10: UK housing market – number of transactions, average house prices and number of years between moves, 2004-08
                                                                        • Upturn in demand for mortgages in autumn 2009
                                                                          • Increase in household numbers bodes well for furniture
                                                                            • Figure 11: UK households and size of households, 2004-14
                                                                          • Underlying growth in the population
                                                                            • Figure 12: Structure of the UK population, by age, 2004-14
                                                                          • Contemporary styling to grow
                                                                            • More grey singletons
                                                                              • Continuing shift towards affluence
                                                                                • Figure 13: Structure of the UK adult population, by socio-economic group, 2004-14
                                                                              • Growth in unemployment
                                                                                • Figure 14: UK workforce, total by gender and unemployed, 2004-14
                                                                              • Weak Pound makes imports more expensive
                                                                                • Figure 15: Monthly average exchange rates against the euro and the US Dollar, 2007-09
                                                                              • VAT to rise again in 2010
                                                                                • The environment
                                                                                • Competitive Context

                                                                                  • Key points
                                                                                    • Sharp downturn in furniture spend
                                                                                      • Figure 16: Comparison of living and dining furniture with other household markets, 2004-09*
                                                                                  • Strengths and Weaknesses in the Market

                                                                                    • Strengths
                                                                                      • Weaknesses
                                                                                      • Who’s Innovating?

                                                                                        • Key points
                                                                                          • Examples of innovation
                                                                                            • Recycling as a theme
                                                                                              • Healthier living
                                                                                                • Fitted living room furniture
                                                                                                  • Accessories
                                                                                                    • Advice service
                                                                                                      • Designer tie-ups
                                                                                                        • Express delivery
                                                                                                        • Market Size and Forecast

                                                                                                          • Key points
                                                                                                            • Furniture sales hit by slow housing market
                                                                                                              • Figure 17: Living room furniture sales, at current and constant 2009 prices, 2004-14
                                                                                                            • Long-term shift away from dining
                                                                                                              • Figure 18: Dining room furniture sales, at current and constant 2009 prices, 2004-14
                                                                                                          • Segment Performance

                                                                                                            • Key points
                                                                                                              • Living room furniture
                                                                                                                • Recession dents sales
                                                                                                                  • Figure 19: UK retail sales of living room furniture, by type and value, 2005-09
                                                                                                                • Falling leather prices improve affordability of sofas
                                                                                                                  • Figure 20: UK retail sales of upholstered furniture, by type, 2005-09
                                                                                                                • Quality improvements boost self-assembly
                                                                                                                  • Figure 21: Non-upholstered living room furniture, by type of assembly, 2005-09
                                                                                                                • Imports help lower prices
                                                                                                                  • Figure 22: Dining furniture, by type of assembly, 2005-09
                                                                                                                • Consumers want flexibility of choice
                                                                                                                  • Figure 23: Dining furniture, by piece, 2005-09
                                                                                                              • Companies and Products

                                                                                                                • Key points
                                                                                                                  • Major retailers
                                                                                                                    • DFS
                                                                                                                        • Figure 24: DFS Trading Ltd, financial performance, 2007 and 2008
                                                                                                                      • Furniture Village
                                                                                                                          • Figure 25: Furniture Village, financial performance, 2008 and 2009
                                                                                                                        • Harveys The Furniture Store
                                                                                                                          • IKEA
                                                                                                                              • Figure 26: IKEA, UK financial performance, 2007 and 2008
                                                                                                                            • Multiyork
                                                                                                                              • Figure 27: Multiyork Furniture Ltd, financial performance, 2007 and 2008
                                                                                                                            • ScS Upholstery
                                                                                                                              • Argos
                                                                                                                                • B&Q
                                                                                                                                  • CSL
                                                                                                                                    • Homebase
                                                                                                                                      • John Lewis
                                                                                                                                        • Laura Ashley
                                                                                                                                          • Marks & Spencer
                                                                                                                                            • Next
                                                                                                                                              • Supermarkets
                                                                                                                                                • Furniture manufacturers
                                                                                                                                                  • Sofa Brands International
                                                                                                                                                    • Ercol Furniture
                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 28: Ercol Furniture Ltd, financial performance, 2007 and 2008
                                                                                                                                                      • JDP Furniture
                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 29: JDP Furniture Group Limited, financial performance, 2007 and 2008
                                                                                                                                                        • Ekornes
                                                                                                                                                          • Halo (www.haloliving.co.uk)
                                                                                                                                                            • Vale Bridgecraft
                                                                                                                                                              • La-Z-Boy Incorporated
                                                                                                                                                                • SofaSofa
                                                                                                                                                                  • Morris Furniture Group
                                                                                                                                                                    • HJ Berry
                                                                                                                                                                      • Sutcliffe Group
                                                                                                                                                                        • Corndell
                                                                                                                                                                          • Natuzzi
                                                                                                                                                                            • Dwell
                                                                                                                                                                              • Sofa Workshop
                                                                                                                                                                                • Wesley-Barrell
                                                                                                                                                                                • Channels to Market

                                                                                                                                                                                  • Key points
                                                                                                                                                                                    • Non-specialists gaining share of furniture
                                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 30: Estimated retail shares of living and dining room furniture sales, 2005-09
                                                                                                                                                                                    • IKEA and DFS continue to dominate
                                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 31: Estimated shares for living and dining room furniture sales, by selected retailers, 2005-09
                                                                                                                                                                                  • Brand Communication and Promotion

                                                                                                                                                                                    • Key points
                                                                                                                                                                                      • Adspend falls from 2006 peak
                                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 32: Main media advertising expenditure on living and dining room furniture, 2005-08
                                                                                                                                                                                      • DFS a dominant spender
                                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 33: Main media advertising expenditure on living and dining room furniture, 2005-09
                                                                                                                                                                                      • Press and TV rule
                                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 34: Main media advertising expenditure on living and dining room furniture, 2005-09
                                                                                                                                                                                      • Seasonal peaks in advertising
                                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 35: Average monthly main media advertising expenditure on living and dining room furniture, 2006-09
                                                                                                                                                                                    • Living Space and Factors Influencing Choice

                                                                                                                                                                                      • Key points
                                                                                                                                                                                        • Seven in ten have separate living rooms
                                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 36: Types of rooms in home, November 2009
                                                                                                                                                                                        • Wide variety of housing types available
                                                                                                                                                                                          • Many more separate lounges than dining rooms
                                                                                                                                                                                            • Open-plan living has a younger bias
                                                                                                                                                                                              • Older bias for conservatories
                                                                                                                                                                                                • Dining rooms reflect social standing
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Shopping for sofas and armchairs
                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 37: Factors influencing choice of upholstered furniture, November 2009
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Aiming high
                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Experience and expectation change with age
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • The influence of children
                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Style plays a major role
                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Fitting in
                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Bouncing on the sofa
                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Easy care
                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Recliners have an older appeal
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Sofa beds have a southern bias
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Higher demand for service with age
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • IFC swings decisions
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Instant fix
                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Take away the old
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Repertoire
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Buying Behaviour and Preferences

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Key points
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Attitudes towards buying
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 38: Attitudes towards buying living and dining room furniture, November 2009
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Replacing the old is a key trigger for purchase
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Updating the style
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Longer-lasting furniture
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Shunters and shifters
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Touching and feeling matters more to over-45s
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Deal seekers
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Researchers
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Identifying targets
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 39: Target buyer groups for living and dining room furniture, November 2009
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Quality Seekers (20%)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Apathetic (39%)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Style Updaters (20%)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Deal Makers (21%)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Consumer Attitudes and Typologies

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Key points
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Living and dining behaviour and preferences
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 40: Attitudes towards living and dining rooms, November 2009
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • TV dining most popular
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Women are more style-conscious
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Storage matters
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Consumer typologies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 41: Living and dining consumer typologies, November 2009
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Relaxers (42%)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Lounge Centred (19%)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Private Diners (27%)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Entertainers (12%)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Appendix – Internal Market Environment

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 42: Ownership and purchasing of lounge/living room furniture, by demographics, 2009
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 43: Ownership and purchasing of dining room furniture, by demographics, 2009
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Appendix – Living Space and Factors Influencing Choice

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 44: Types of rooms in home, by demographics, November 2009
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 45: Factors influencing choice of upholstered furniture, by demographics, November 2009
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 46: Factors influencing choice of upholstered furniture, by demographics, November 2009
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 47: Factors influencing choice of upholstered furniture, by demographics, November 2009
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 48: Repertoire of factors influencing choice of upholstered furniture, by demographics, November 2009
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Appendix – Buying Behaviour and Preferences

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 49: Attitudes towards buying living and dining room furniture, by demographics, November 2009
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 50: Attitudes towards buying living and dining room furniture, by demographics, November 2009
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 51: Attitudes towards buying living and dining room furniture, by demographics, November 2009
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 52: Attitudes towards buying living and dining room furniture, by target buying groups, November 2009
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 53: Target buying groups, by demographics, November 2009
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Appendix – Consumer Attitudes and Typologies

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 54: Attitudes towards living and dining rooms, by demographics, November 2009
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 55: Attitudes towards living and dining rooms, by demographics, November 2009
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 56: Attitudes towards living and dining rooms, by demographics, November 2009
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 57: Consumer typologies, by demographics, November 2009
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 58: Types of rooms in home, by consumer typologies, November 2009
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 59: Factors influencing choice of upholstered furniture, by consumer typologies, November 2009
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 60: Attitudes towards buying living and dining room furniture, by consumer typologies, November 2009
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 61: Attitudes towards living and dining rooms, by consumer typologies, November 2009

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Companies Covered

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Aldi Stores Ltd (UK & Ireland)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Argos
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Asda Group Ltd
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Bank of England
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • British Market Research Bureau (BMRB)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Christie-Tyler Furniture Group
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Co-operative Group
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Council of Mortgage Lenders
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Department for Work and Pensions
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Ercol Furniture Ltd
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Forest Stewardship Council
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Habitat
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Harveys Furnishing Plc
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Home Retail Group
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Homebase Ltd
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • IKEA
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • J. Sainsbury
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • JDP Furniture Group
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • John Lewis Plc (department store)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Kingfisher UK & Ireland
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Land of Leather Ltd
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Laura Ashley Group
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Lidl (UK)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Marks & Spencer
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • MFI Furniture Group Plc
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Multiyork Furniture Ltd
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • National Exhibition Centre
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Natuzzi
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Next Group
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Parker Knoll
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Research in Motion Uk Ltd.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Sofa Brands International Limited
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Tesco Plc
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • The Morris Furniture Group
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Waitrose
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Wesley-Barrell (Witney) Ltd
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Wm Morrison Supermarkets

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Living and Dining Room Furniture - UK - February 2010

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