UK Furniture Retailing Market Report 2023
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“Already impacted by a natural rebalancing of demand post-pandemic, the cost-of-living crisis has further hit consumer spending, especially on big-ticket items like furniture. However, it’s not always about trading down.

UK Furniture Retailing Market Report 2023

£ 2,195 (Excl.Tax)


Stay ahead of the curve and secure future growth for your business with Mintel’s UK Furniture Retailing Market Report 2023. Our full report features nearly 100 pages of consumer-led market intelligence, the latest trends and consumer behaviours affecting your industry. Get a 360° view of the furniture retail market including market size, share and forecasted growth to help you align your business strategy with the needs of your audience.

Below, we’ve handpicked the key insights analysed in the full report and summarised the core topics.

Key Issues Covered in this Report

  • The impacts of inflation, supply chain disruption and the conflict in Ukraine on the furniture market.
  • How this disruption impacts consumers’ demand and behaviours.
  • How retailers are performing and innovating.
  • Opportunities and threats for the furniture market.

UK Furniture Retail Market – Current Landscape

The UK furniture market has already been impacted by a natural rebalancing of demand post-pandemic, and now the continuation of the cost-of-living crisis has further hampered consumer demand for furniture. 

Once the worst is over and consumer demand returns, the sector will face a challenge from the growing might of the second-hand market.

  • UK furniture market size: Following near-9% growth in 2022, the retail market for furniture is only estimated to increase by 0.3% in 2023.

UK Furniture Retail Market Trends and Opportunities

Focus on holistic health and wellbeing

A legacy of the pandemic is consumers’ newfound appreciation of the home, and buying furniture has become a form of self-indulgence. Mintel’s research found that almost half of UK consumers who bought furniture in the past 12 months saw this as a way to treat themselves. Furthermore, with furniture purchases now extending beyond functionality, over-two thirds of consumers are willing to spend more on high-quality products with longevity.

Consumer appetite for in-store experiences

Since pandemic restrictions have been lifted, there has been a growing appetite for reconnecting with in-store shopping experiences. The growth of store-based sales in the cost-of-living crisis highlights that price is not always the ultimate shopping driver. There are opportunities for retailers to tempt consumers back into stores by responding to the growing trend for DIY and upcycling pre owned furniture.

More About this Report

This market research report covers the retailing of the following types of furniture: Living and dining room furniture, bedroom furniture including beds and mattresses, and home office furniture. Further segmental detail can also be found in Mintel’s UK Bedroom Furniture Market Report and UK Living and Dining Room Furniture Market Report.

The report includes information on the market size and share of leading UK furniture retail brands such as IKEA, DFS, Wren Kitchens, Furniture Village, Dunelm, and more. 

Additional Features Included with Your Purchase

  • Interactive Data Book: This gives you unlimited access to a consumer confidence tracker that is segmented into 25 different demographic categories.
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  • Mintel’s Clients Portal: Our portal offers instant access to actionable analysis and trend pieces relevant to your industry that are published almost daily. You can also browse for more market research reports.

Purchase our full UK Furniture Retailing Market Report 2023 to discover lucrative opportunities to help your business grow during times of financial uncertainty.

Expert Insights from a Retail Industry Specialist

This report, written by Sam Nguyen, a leading retail analyst, delivers in-depth commentary and analysis to highlight current trends in the uk furniture retail market and add expert context to the numbers.

Already impacted by a natural rebalancing of demand post-pandemic, the cost-of-living crisis has further hit consumer spending, especially on big-ticket items like furniture. However, it’s not always about trading down. 67% of consumers would prefer to trade up to high-quality items with longevity and 42% bought new furniture to treat themselves. While uncertainty remains ahead, the newfound appreciation towards the home as a legacy of the pandemic will continue to fuel new demand, with furniture extending beyond its practical functionality to serve as a form of self-indulgence.

Sam Nguyen
Retail Analyst

Table of Contents

  1. Overview

    • Key issues covered in this Report
    • Products covered in this Report
  2. Executive Summary

    • The five year outlook for Furniture Retailing
      • Figure 1: Category outlook, 2023-28
    • The market
    • Market size and forecast
      • Figure 2: Market forecast for Furniture Retailing, 2018-28
    • Bedrooms receive newfound appreciation
    • Store-based specialists consolidate leading position
    • Companies and brands
    • Specialists posts sales growth, but struggles to drive profit
    • Online struggles but remains elevated
    • IKEA at the top of its game, Dunelm well positioned to consolidate its position in the furniture market
      • Figure 3: Key metrics for selected brands, 2023
    • The consumer
    • Half of consumers engage in the furniture market
      • Figure 4: Furniture expenditure, 2021-23
    • Bedrooms receive newfound appreciation
      • Figure 5: Rooms purchased for, 2022 and 2023
    • In-store purchasing on track to recovery
      • Figure 6: Channel of purchase, 2022 and 2023
    • Changes with buying are mirrored in browsing
      • Figure 7: Channel of browsing, 2022 and 2023
    • IKEA consolidates its leading position, but generalists are highly engaged online
      • Figure 8: Retailers used in-store & online, 2023
    • In-store shoppers are more loyal
      • Figure 9: Repertoire analysis of retailers used in-store and online, 2023
    • Price is high up on the agenda
      • Figure 10: Furniture purchase drivers, 2023
    • A more discerning attitude towards furniture buying but it’s not always about trading down
      • Figure 11: Furniture attitudes and shopping behaviour, 2023
  3. Issues and Insights

    • Furniture spending takes a hit
    • Price takes centre stage
    • Flexible payment options emerge as an important facilitator of demand
    • There is still potential for other values other than affordability
    • The rise of holistic health and wellbeing opens up new windows
    • In-store experiences see a boost in demand
  4. Market Size and Performance

    • Consumer spending is expected to reach £21 billion
    • Inflation still outstrips wage growth
      • Figure 12: CPI vs Wage growth monthly percentage change, April 2010-April 2023
    • Housing market slows down
    • It’s not all doom and gloom
    • The sector will continue to benefit from the renewed appreciation towards the home
    • Consumer confidence improves
      • Figure 13: Market size for furniture retailing, 2018-23
      • Figure 14: Market size for Furniture retailing, at current prices and constant prices, 2018-23
  5. Market Forecast

    • Inflation continues to mask volume decline
      • Figure 15: Category outlook, 2023-28
    • There are hopes that the worst is over
    • Polarisation of demand continues
      • Figure 16: Market forecast for Furniture retailing, 2018-28
    • Learnings from the last income squeeze
    • Forecast methodology
  6. Market Segmentation

    • Bedroom benefits from the newfound appetite for holistic wellbeing
    • Living and dining room remains resilient
    • Kitchens and bathrooms hit the most
      • Figure 17: Furniture Market Segmentation, 2018-22
  7. Channels to Market

    • Store-based specialists benefit from consumers’ return to the high street
    • Generalists strengthen foothold in the furniture market
    • Online pureplayers struggle
      • Figure 18: Estimated channels of distribution for Furniture, 2022
  8. Online

    • Online struggles but remains elevated
    • Robust investment in online
    • Online specialists are hard hit
    • Amazon leads the way
  9. Market Drivers

    • Inflation will continue to eat into consumer spending power over the course of 2023
      • Figure 19: Annual rate of inflation, CPIH & furniture and furnishings, March 2022 – May 2023
    • Further interest rates increases will hit mortgage-holders
    • Housing transaction drops
      • Figure 20: Number of property residential transactions with a value of over £40,000 completed in the UK, January 2019-May 2023
    • The shift to private renting
      • Figure 21: English housing tenure, 2017/18-2021/22
    • Live births increase for the first time since 2015
      • Figure 22: Number of live births in England and Wales, 1960-2021
    • High inflation and rising interest rates will compound the impact of the slowing recovery
    • Consumer spending power will be curbed
    • Low unemployment is helping underpin
    • Consumers’ financial wellbeing has fallen from the highs of 2021…
      • Figure 23: Household financial wellbeing index, 2016-23
    • …and most people are feeling the effects of price rises
  10. Leading Specialists

    • IKEA posts double-digit revenue growth
    • Furniture Village delivers upbeat performance
    • DFS continues to lead the sofa retailing market
    • In-store sales as the backbone of ScS
    • Online pureplayers are struggling
      • Figure 24: Leading furniture specialists’ sales, 2017/18-2021/22
    • Profits take a hit amid soaring costs
    • IKEA profits drop by almost a fifth
    • DFS lowers annual profit forecast
    • Nobia ramps up cost reduction programme
    • ScS’s gross margin declines
      • Figure 25: Leading furniture specialists’ operating profit, 2017/18-2021/22
      • Figure 26: Leading furniture specialists’ operating margins, 2017/18-2021/22
    • Expansion of offline presence
    • IKEA continues offline expansion
    • DFS focuses on Sofology
    • Furniture Village opens new store in Colchester
    • Loaf opens the first showroom in Scotland
    • High seat Ltd also open its first-ever ‘feel good’ flagship
      • Figure 27: Leading furniture specialists’ outlet data, 2017/18-2021/22
  11. Furniture and Furnishing Specialist Sector and Market Share

    • IKEA takes the lead
      • Figure 28: Leading furniture and furnishings specialists, market shares, 2021/22
    • Sales peak around festive season
      • Figure 29: Average weekly retail sales in the furniture and furnishing specialists category, January 2021-December 2022
  12. Leading Non-Specialists

    • Many pureplayers struggle as consumers return to the high street
    • Very sees a drop in Home revenue
    • Amazon bolsters its position in a declining market
    • Home represents 27% of John Lewis’s revenue
    • Argos accelerates the relocation inside Sainsbury’s
    • Next strengthens home offering through the acquisition of Made.com
    • Fashion retailers continue the venture into the home
  13. Launch Activity and Innovation

    • A return to the high street
    • IKEA encompasses different aspects of the retail experience
    • H&M Home continues offline expansion
    • Next opens first department store with fashion, beauty and home under one roof
      • Figure 30: Next’s Watford store, 2022
    • Holistic sustainability
    • IKEA promotes circular consumption
    • eBay’s Better Than New Homeware Hub
      • Figure 31: eBay’s Better Than New Homeware Hub, 2023
    • The rise of green delivery
    • Muji’s brand-first sustainability-focused store revamp
    • John Lewis sources sofa leather from Waitrose farms
    • Wellness-inspired furniture
    • IKEA x Marimekko
    • Silentnight’s Dream Machine
    • A move towards more accessible store format
    • IKEA moves closer to consumers
      • Figure 32: IKEA Hammersmith, 2022
    • B&Q plans 50 smaller store openings
    • Homebase brings its products to Tesco stores
    • Razor-sharp focus on value continues
    • Very extends own-brand value range
    • Bensons Outlet
      • Figure 33: Bensons Outlet, 2022
    • Studio launches new value homewares range
  14. Advertising and Marketing Activity

    • Above-the-line advertising expenditure continues to recover
      • Figure 34: Total above-the line, online display and direct mail advertising expenditure on furniture, 2019-22
    • Beds and mattresses continue to take the lion’s share in advertising spend
      • Figure 35: Total above-the-line, online display and direct mail advertising expenditure on furniture, by product category, 2019-22
    • IKEA posts the largest increase in adspend
      • Figure 36: Total above-the-line, online display and direct mail advertising expenditure on furniture, by retailer, 2019-22
    • A surge in digital adspend
      • Figure 37: Total above-the-line, online display and direct mail advertising expenditure on furniture, by media type, 2022
    • Nielsen Ad Intel coverage
  15. Brand Research

    • What you need to know
    • Brand map
      • Figure 38: Attitudes towards and usage of selected brands, 2023
    • Key brand metrics
      • Figure 39: Key metrics for selected brands, 2023
    • Brand attitudes: IKEA innovative and offers good value for money, Dunelm provides a great online service
      • Figure 40: Attitudes, by brand, 2023
    • Brand personality: IKEA and Dunelm highly accessible, Oak Furnitureland exclusive
      • Figure 41: Brand personality – macro image, 2023
    • DFS and Dreams reliable, Oak Furnitureland stylish
      • Figure 42: Brand personality – micro image, 2023
    • Brand analysis
    • IKEA: a brand at the top of its game
    • Dunelm: good value, most recommended but basic
    • Oak Furnitureland: expensive but worth paying more for
    • Dreams: reliable and welcoming but lacking style
    • DFS: high awareness but struggling to differentiate
  16. What They Spend

    • Half of consumers engage in the furniture market
      • Figure 43: Furniture purchasing levels, 2018-23
    • Lower-ticket purchases dominate the market
    • Demand is polarised
      • Figure 44: Furniture expenditure, 2021-23
    • Young consumers lead spending
      • Figure 45: Furniture expenditure, by age group, 2023
    • Renters represent an important segment
      • Figure 46: Furniture expenditure, by housing situation, 2023
    • Kids as an important spending driver
      • Figure 47: Furniture expenditure, by children in household, 2023
  17. Rooms They Buy For

    • Bedrooms receive newfound appreciation
    • Flexible living fuels bedroom purchases
      • Figure 48: Rooms purchased for, 2022 and 2023
    • Spending on living room spearheaded by older consumers
      • Figure 49: Rooms purchased for, by age and annual household income, 2023
    • Dining room is centre to big-ticket purchases
      • Figure 50: Rooms purchased for, by furniture expenditure, 2023
    • Space dictates furniture spending
      • Figure 51: Rooms purchased for, by description of current home, 2023
    • Two thirds only buy for one room
      • Figure 52: Repertoire analysis of Rooms purchased for, 2023
  18. How They Buy Furniture

    • Online demand remains elevated
    • In-store on track to recovery
      • Figure 53: Channel of purchase, 2022 and 2023
    • Websites lead engagement
      • Figure 54: Channel of purchase, 2022 and 2023
    • Mobile devices lead larger basket spending
      • Figure 55: Channel of purchase, by furniture expenditure, 2023
    • Physical stores are preferred for living room furniture shopping
      • Figure 56: Channel of purchase, by room purchased for, 2023
  19. How They Browse Furniture

    • Changes with buying are mirrored in browsing
      • Figure 57: Channel of browsing, 2022 and 2023
    • Online browsing falls short in driving conversions
      • Figure 58: Channel of purchase & browsing, 2023
    • Website browsing is popular across different rooms
      • Figure 59: Channel of browsing, by room purchased for, 2023
    • Browsing behaviour is influenced by age
      • Figure 60: Channel of browsing, by age, 2022
  20. Where They Shop for Furniture

    • IKEA leads the pack
    • Specialists still struggle to gain more ground
    • Generalist retailers spearhead online purchasing
    • Argos highly engaged both online and offline
    • B&Q also boasts higher engagement
    • Online engagement is influenced by income
    • eBay benefits from the appetite for second-hand shopping
      • Figure 61: Retailers used in-store & online, 2023
    • In-store shoppers are more loyal
      • Figure 62: Repertoire analysis of retailers used in-store and online, 2023
  21. Key Purchase Drivers

    • Price is high up on the agenda…
      • Figure 63: Furniture purchase drivers, 2023
    • … and is the essential incentive to prompt purchases
      • Figure 64: TURF Analysis – Furniture Retailing, 2023
      • Figure 65: Table – TURF Analysis –Furniture Retailing, 2023
    • Fast delivery follows in second place
    • Fast delivery vs store proximity
    • Priorities differ across demographics…
      • Figure 66: Furniture purchase drivers, by age and annual household income, 2023
    • … as well as across purchase channels
      • Figure 67: Furniture purchase drivers, by channel of purchase, 2023
    • Affordability a top consideration with all rooms
      • Figure 68: Furniture purchase drivers, by room purchased for, 2023
  22. Furniture Attitudes and Shopping Behaviours

    • A more discerning attitude towards furniture buying
    • The rise of pre-loved furniture
      • Figure 69: Furniture attitudes and shopping behaviour, 2023
    • It’s not always about trading down
    • Furniture buying as a form of self-indulgence
    • Almost three quarters are interested in space-saving solutions
      • Figure 70: Furniture attitudes and shopping behaviour, 2023
    • Interest in space-saving solutions for home office
      • Figure 71: Furniture attitudes and shopping behaviour, by room purchased for, 2023
    • Opportunities for rental
    • Personalisation is no longer a nice to have
  23. Appendix – Data Sources, Abbreviations and Supporting Information

    • Abbreviations
    • Consumer research methodology
  24. Appendix – Forecast Methodology

    • Market forecast and prediction intervals
      • Figure 72: Market size, best- and worst-case scenario forecasts, 2023-28
    • Market drivers and assumptions
    • Forecast methodology

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