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

Furniture Retailing - UK - July 2019

Covered in this report

This report covers the retailing of the following types of furniture:

  • Living and dining room furniture
  • Bedroom furniture, including beds and mattresses
  • Home office furniture

“The furniture market remains robust, as resilient consumer confidence, the return of real wage growth and a rise in new households maintained spending even as housing transactions cooled for a second year. The industry is dominated by furniture specialists but stores are taking an increasingly intermediary role as consumers migrate online at the start and end of the purchasing journey. However, the clouds of Brexit and growing confidence in making big-ticket purchases exclusively online sit on the horizon.”

- Marco Amasanti, Retail Analyst

This report will look at the following areas:

  • Some consumers appear increasingly willing to complete big-ticket purchases exclusively online
  • Can Amazon challenge the higher end of the market?
  • How to fortify the role of the store amid heavy competition and potential expansion online

What you get

What's included

Why buy from us?

Succeed

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

Instant Access

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

Opportunities

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

Trusted

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

Table of contents

  1. Overview

    • What you need to know
      • Products covered in this Report
      • Executive Summary

          • The market
            • Continued expenditure despite uncertainty
              • Figure 1: Consumer spending on furniture, 2014-24
            • Living and bedroom grow at the expense of kitchen and bathroom furniture
              • Figure 2: Furniture market segmentation, 2018
            • Housing transactions cool, but remain historically high
              • Companies and brands
                • IKEA tops a highly fragmented market
                  • Figure 3: Market shares of furniture retailers, 2018
                • Amazon emerging as major competition to specialists
                  • Retailers continue to pursue physical expansion
                    • Visual technology advancements
                      • The consumer
                        • Involvement and spending both grew over the past year
                          • Figure 4: What they spent on furniture in the last 12 months, May 2018 and 2019
                        • Bedroom and living room dominate expenditure
                          • Figure 5: Rooms they buy for, May 2019
                        • Online finally overtakes in-store as a primary channel of purchase
                          • Figure 6: How they buy furniture and how they browse for furniture, May 2019
                        • IKEA leads a fragmented market as Amazon steals a march
                          • Figure 7: Where they spent the most money on furniture, by where they shop for furniture, May 2019
                        • Price and reputation paramount in consumer choice
                          • Figure 8: Reasons behind choice in where to shop for furniture, May 2019
                        • Consumers continue to seek the assurance of physical stores
                          • Figure 9: Actions when shopping for furniture, May 2019
                        • How far can visual technologies challenge the store among the newer generation?
                          • Figure 10: Attitudes towards furniture shopping, May 2019
                        • What we think
                        • Issues and Insights

                          • Some consumers appear increasingly willing to complete big-ticket purchases exclusively online
                            • The facts
                              • The implications
                                • Can Amazon challenge the higher end of the market?
                                  • The facts
                                    • The implications
                                      • How to fortify the role of the store amid heavy competition and potential expansion online
                                        • The facts
                                          • The implications
                                          • The Market – What You Need to Know

                                            • Continued expenditure despite uncertainty
                                              • Living and bedroom grow at expense of kitchen and bathroom furniture
                                                • Consumers seek specialists and a store presence
                                                  • Housing transactions cool, but remain historically high
                                                    • Consumers remain financially confident despite wider uncertainty
                                                    • Market Size and Forecast

                                                      • Expenditure growth set to continue despite uncertainty
                                                        • Figure 11: Consumer spending on furniture, 2014-24
                                                        • Figure 12: Consumer spending on furniture, 2014-24
                                                      • Forecast methodology
                                                      • Market Segmentation

                                                          • Living and bedroom grow market share
                                                            • The need for both function and style
                                                              • Kitchen and bathroom spending slows among cautious consumers
                                                                • Figure 13: Furniture market segmentation, 2014-18
                                                            • Channels to Market

                                                              • Consumers prioritise knowledge and physical presence
                                                                • Online specialists proving their worth
                                                                  • DIY retailers falter
                                                                    • Figure 14: Estimated channels of distribution for furniture, 2018
                                                                • Online

                                                                    • Growth among online-only furniture retailers
                                                                      • Changes in 2018 reflect the strength of competition in furniture
                                                                        • Figure 15: Estimated shares of online spending on furniture, 2017 and 2018
                                                                    • Market Drivers

                                                                      • House numbers rise again
                                                                        • Figure 16: Number of UK households, 2013-23
                                                                      • The rise of young, affluent private renters…
                                                                        • ….but owner-occupied retains the lion’s share
                                                                          • Figure 17: Household tenure, by age, 2018
                                                                        • Housing transactions cool for second consecutive year…
                                                                          • Figure 18: Number of residential housing transactions over £40,000, 2009-18
                                                                        • …but have picked up since the turn of 2019
                                                                          • Figure 19: Monthly change in the number of residential housing transactions over £40,000 compared to the previous year, January 2018-April 2019
                                                                        • Inflation in the sector stabilises following a sharp 2017 spike
                                                                          • Figure 20: Inflation, 2009-18
                                                                          • Figure 21: Inflation, March 2018-March 2019
                                                                        • Consumers remain financially confident despite wider uncertainty
                                                                          • Figure 22: Consumers’ confidence in the state of the finances and their finances compared to the previous year, January 2017-March 2019
                                                                        • Consumers appear prepared to continue to spend on the home
                                                                          • Figure 23: Spending on the home, actions and intentions, April 2016-March 2019
                                                                        • The availability of credit remains largely unchanged
                                                                          • Figure 24: Consumer credit excluding student loans, April 2017-March 2019
                                                                          • Figure 25: Availability of consumer credit to households, Q1 2012-Q1 2019
                                                                      • Companies and Brands – What You Need to Know

                                                                        • IKEA consolidates again, though heavy investment hits profits
                                                                          • Amazon emerging as major competition to specialists
                                                                            • Retailers continue to pursue physical expansion
                                                                              • Visual technology advancements
                                                                                • 2018 advertising expenditure growth slows to 0.8%
                                                                                  • IKEA leads the market in brand image
                                                                                  • Leading Specialists

                                                                                    • IKEA continues to gain share
                                                                                      • DFS boosted by the acquisition of Sofology
                                                                                        • Made.com resonates with Millennials
                                                                                          • Dreams continues its successful turnaround
                                                                                            • Steinhoff difficulties
                                                                                              • Figure 26: Leading furniture specialists’ sales, 2013/14-2018/19
                                                                                            • Operating profits and margins
                                                                                              • IKEA profits slip amid investment, but group maintains it’s ‘part of the plan’
                                                                                                • DFS profits hit by investment and uncertainty, but pick up in 2019
                                                                                                  • Wren Kitchens reaps the rewards of growth
                                                                                                    • Nobia profits slip, but group remains well placed
                                                                                                      • Figure 27: Leading furniture specialists’ operating profits, 2013/14-2018/19
                                                                                                      • Figure 28: Leading furniture specialists’ operating margins, 2013/14-2018/19
                                                                                                    • Stores and outlet data
                                                                                                      • Figure 29: Leading furniture specialists’ outlet data, 2013/14-2018/19
                                                                                                    • Sales per store
                                                                                                      • Figure 30: Leading furniture specialists’ sales per store, 2013/14-2018/19
                                                                                                  • Leading Non-specialists

                                                                                                    • Amazon emerging as major competition to the specialists
                                                                                                      • John Lewis slips with softened big-ticket sales
                                                                                                        • House of Fraser replaces ScS partnership with Sofa.com deal
                                                                                                        • Market Share

                                                                                                            • IKEA retains its leading position as smaller retailers grow share
                                                                                                              • Figure 31: Market shares of furniture retailers, 2018
                                                                                                          • Space Allocation Summary

                                                                                                              • Space allocation summary
                                                                                                                • Figure 32: Furniture retailers: summary of estimated in-store space allocation, July 2019
                                                                                                              • Detailed space allocation estimates
                                                                                                                • Figure 33: The IKEA Learning Lab, February 2019
                                                                                                                • Figure 34: IKEA Swedish Food Market, Edmonton, July 2019
                                                                                                                • Figure 35: Furniture retailers: detailed space allocation estimates, July 2019
                                                                                                            • Launch Activity and Innovation

                                                                                                              • Furniture rental to accommodate for modern lifestyles
                                                                                                                • IKEA targets the rental sphere
                                                                                                                  • Smart technologies innovation in furniture
                                                                                                                    • Figure 36: IKEA & Ori, ROGNAN robotic furniture for small space living, June 2019
                                                                                                                    • Figure 37: Wayfair EmeraldCove Bedside table, June 2019
                                                                                                                  • The rise of ‘sleep specialists’ amid a growing focus on wellbeing
                                                                                                                    • IKEA continues to boost its sustainability credentials
                                                                                                                      • Figure 38: IKEA Greenwich rooftop terrace, February 2019
                                                                                                                  • Advertising and Marketing Activity

                                                                                                                    • 2018 total advertising expenditure growth slows to 0.8%
                                                                                                                      • Figure 39: Total above-the-line, online display and direct mail advertising expenditure on furniture, 2015-18
                                                                                                                    • DFS retains its crown as the leader in advertising expenditure
                                                                                                                        • Figure 40: Total above-the-line, online display and direct mail advertising expenditure on furniture, by retailer, 2015-18
                                                                                                                        • Figure 41: Share of total above-the-line, online display and direct mail advertising expenditure on furniture, by retailer, 2018
                                                                                                                      • TV remains the industry’s favourite channel for exposure
                                                                                                                        • Figure 42: Total above-the-line, online display and direct mail advertising expenditure on furniture, by retailer, 2018
                                                                                                                      • Leading companies favour TV, but adopt a wide variety of advertising strategies
                                                                                                                        • Figure 43: Total above-the-line, online display and direct mail advertising expenditure on furniture, by retailer and media type, 2018
                                                                                                                      • Campaign highlights
                                                                                                                        • DFS pairs with Hollywood blockbuster for the second year running…
                                                                                                                          • …complimented by wider exposure campaigns
                                                                                                                            • IKEA puts the spotlight on sleep
                                                                                                                              • Sofology brings to life all the little components that make up a sofa
                                                                                                                                • Nielsen Ad Intel coverage
                                                                                                                                • Brand Research

                                                                                                                                    • Brand map
                                                                                                                                      • Figure 44: Attitudes towards and usage of selected brands, June 2019
                                                                                                                                    • Key brand metrics
                                                                                                                                      • Figure 45: Key metrics for selected brands, June 2019
                                                                                                                                    • Brand attitudes: Oak Furnitureland stands alone at higher end of the market
                                                                                                                                      • Figure 46: Attitudes, by brand, June 2019
                                                                                                                                    • Brand personality: IKEA as a fun retailer
                                                                                                                                      • Figure 47: Brand personality – macro image, June 2019
                                                                                                                                    • Dreams and DFS regarded as reliable but uninspiring
                                                                                                                                      • Figure 48: Brand personality – micro image, June 2019
                                                                                                                                    • Brand analysis
                                                                                                                                      • IKEA’s fun trendsetting innovation piques interest among younger consumers
                                                                                                                                          • Figure 49: User profile of IKEA, June 2019
                                                                                                                                        • Dreams boosted by its customer service, but lacks excitement
                                                                                                                                          • Figure 50: User profile of Dreams, June 2019
                                                                                                                                        • Oak Furnitureland’s reputation for quality makes it worth paying more for
                                                                                                                                          • Figure 51: User profile of Oak Furnitureland, June 2019
                                                                                                                                        • DFS is trusted by consumers but viewed as largely indistinguishable
                                                                                                                                          • Figure 52: User profile of DFS, June 2019
                                                                                                                                        • Harveys lacks a clear point of difference
                                                                                                                                          • Figure 53: User profile of Harveys, June 2019
                                                                                                                                      • The Consumer – What You Need to Know

                                                                                                                                        • The furniture purchasing journey increasingly starts and ends online
                                                                                                                                          • The march of Amazon
                                                                                                                                            • How far can visual technologies challenge the store among the newer generation?
                                                                                                                                              • Preserving the role of the store moving forwards
                                                                                                                                              • What They Spent

                                                                                                                                                • Involvement and spending both grew over the past year
                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 54: What they spent on furniture in the last 12 months, May 2018 and 2019
                                                                                                                                                • Spending peaks among under-45s…
                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 55: What they spent on furniture in the last 12 months, by age, May 2019
                                                                                                                                                • …and recent movers and new homeowners
                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 56: What they spent on furniture in the last 12 months, by duration in home, May 2019
                                                                                                                                              • Rooms They Buy For

                                                                                                                                                • Bedroom and living room dominate recent expenditure
                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 57: Rooms they buy for, May 2019
                                                                                                                                                • Younger consumers prioritise the bedroom, older prioritise the living room
                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 58: Rooms they buy for, by age, May 2019
                                                                                                                                                • Over a third buy for multiple rooms
                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 59: Repertoire analysis of rooms that homeowners bought furniture for in last 12 months, May 2019
                                                                                                                                              • How They Buy Furniture

                                                                                                                                                • Online finally overtakes in-store purchases
                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 60: How they buy furniture, May 2018 and May 2019
                                                                                                                                                • Online consolidation driven by younger consumers…
                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 61: How they buy furniture, by age, May 2019
                                                                                                                                                • …although its use grew in every age band in 2019…
                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 62: How they buy furniture, online, by age, May 2018 and May 2019
                                                                                                                                                • …but stores remain central in bigger-ticket purchases
                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 63: How they buy furniture, by expenditure, May 2019
                                                                                                                                                • Reviving the role of the store to complement online sales
                                                                                                                                                • How They Browse for Furniture

                                                                                                                                                  • The furniture purchasing journey increasingly starts and ends online…
                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 64: How they browse for furniture, May 2019
                                                                                                                                                  • …again underpinned by younger consumers
                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 65: How they browse for furniture, by age, May 2019
                                                                                                                                                • Where They Shop for Furniture

                                                                                                                                                  • IKEA sits atop a heavily competitive marketplace
                                                                                                                                                    • A wealth of outsider choice
                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 66: Where they shop for furniture, May 2018 and May 2019
                                                                                                                                                    • Where they shopped by age and socio-economic group
                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 67: Where they shop for furniture, by age and socio-economic group, May 2019
                                                                                                                                                    • The upsurge of Amazon
                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 68: Where they shop for furniture, Amazon, May 2017-May 2019
                                                                                                                                                    • Younger consumers are more likely to visit multiple retailers
                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 69: Repertoire analysis of how many retailers they used in the past 12 months, by age, May 2019
                                                                                                                                                  • Where Most Money Spent on Furniture in Last Year

                                                                                                                                                    • John Lewis and DFS punch above their weight…
                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 70: Where they spent the most money on furniture, by where they shop for furniture, May 2019
                                                                                                                                                    • …underpinned by their popularity among older shoppers
                                                                                                                                                      • Amazon steals a march among highest-spending age group
                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 71: Where they spent the most money on furniture, chosen retailers, by age, May 2019
                                                                                                                                                    • Reasons for Choice of Furniture Retailer

                                                                                                                                                      • Price is paramount
                                                                                                                                                        • The importance of reputation
                                                                                                                                                          • A need for choice in styles
                                                                                                                                                            • Convenience especially prolific in online purchases
                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 72: Reasons behind choice in where to shop for furniture, May 2019
                                                                                                                                                            • Focus on cost replaced by reputation and style as consumers age
                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 73: Reasons behind choice in where to shop for furniture, by age and socio-economic group, May 2019
                                                                                                                                                          • Actions When Shopping for Furniture

                                                                                                                                                            • Consumers visit stores to view furniture and talk to staff
                                                                                                                                                              • Offering a chance for differentiation in the wake of digitisation
                                                                                                                                                                • Online shoppers look to reviews, social media and web services
                                                                                                                                                                  • The opportunity in embracing social media
                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 74: Actions when shopping for furniture, May 2019
                                                                                                                                                                  • The continued appeal of in-store experience among older shoppers
                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 75: Actions when shopping for furniture, by age, May 2019
                                                                                                                                                                • Attitudes towards Furniture Shopping

                                                                                                                                                                  • Omnichannel still a necessity for the majority in big-ticket purchasing…
                                                                                                                                                                    • …but technology could serve a growing threat to stores in this
                                                                                                                                                                      • Negativity and uncertainty continue to weigh on consumer behaviour
                                                                                                                                                                        • Younger, affluent homeowners hunger for custom-made furniture
                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 76: Attitudes towards furniture shopping, May 2019
                                                                                                                                                                        • How far can visualisation technology advance to challenge stores?
                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 77: Attitudes towards furniture shopping, by age, May 2019
                                                                                                                                                                      • Appendix – Data Sources, Abbreviations and Supporting Information

                                                                                                                                                                          • Abbreviations
                                                                                                                                                                            • Consumer research methodology
                                                                                                                                                                            • Appendix – Market Size and Forecast

                                                                                                                                                                              • Forecast methodology

                                                                                                                                                                              Furniture Retailing - UK - July 2019

                                                                                                                                                                              £1,995.00 (Excl.Tax)