2021
9
UK Furniture Retailing Market Report 2021
2021-07-21T04:06:53+01:00
OX1049561
2995
140445
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Report
en_GB
“Furniture spending dropped sharply in mid-2020, driven by store closures, a sharp decline in the housing market and a reduced appetite for big-ticket purchases. This has quickly recovered, however, as…

UK Furniture Retailing Market Report 2021

$ 2,995 (Excl.Tax)

Description

Providing the most comprehensive and up-to-date information and analysis of the UK Furniture Retailing market, including the behaviours, preferences and habits of the consumer.

Disruption in the past year saw an unprecedented redirection of demand online in the furniture market. In fact, since the outbreak, a huge 80% of consumers have shopped for furniture online as a result of not being able to visit in-store. As a result, online retail boomed, as 77% of shoppers purchased furniture online, up from 63% in the past year alone.

This underlines the profound impact that the pandemic has had in the past year. However, in contrast to many other non-essential retail markets, this has not been characterised by a sharp decline in sales, as furniture spending slipped by only 0.8% in 2020, before recovering strongly in 2021 (4.7%). Instead, this disruption has been characterised by its impact on the retailing landscape, in how consumers shop for furniture: and the fragmentation of expenditure to non-specialists, whether online or in-store.

This fragmentation represents a significant issue for the furniture specialists sector. Although the sector will regain momentum as restrictions and anxiety ease in the second half of 2021, as many continue to necessitate first-person in-store contact, particularly in bigger ticket purchases. Multichannel specialists will have to be proactive to recover ground once these restrictions ease, in combatting the rise of pure-players such as Amazon, and in regaining in-store footfall from non-specialists such as DIY and general retailers, which will look to build on the foothold established since the outbreak.

This challenge for furniture specialists will be eased in part, however, by pent-up demand, and the windfall of bigger-ticket home projects in the coming years. The past year has seen many consumers re-evaluate, living spaces (particularly communal), and prioritise them in future spending; often buoyed by that money redirected from other sectors in this period.

Read on to discover more details or take a look at all of our UK Household, House and Home market research.

Quickly understand

  • The impact of COVID-19 on furniture retailing.
  • How this disruption will change demand in the short, medium and long term and the retailing landscape.
  • The rise of flexible living and its impact on furniture demand.
  • The fragmentation of spending to non-specialists.
  • The future of the purchasing journey for the home and the growing role of online-only retailers.
  • UK furniture retail market share.
  • Furniture retail industry analysis.

Covered in this report

Brands: J. Sainsbury, The Very Group, Amazon, IKEA, John Lewis, DFS Furniture, Next, eBay, Wayfair, Freams, Steinhoff, VictoriaPlum.com, Made.com, Oak Furnitureland, Furniture Village, Loaf (Really Comfy Beds), Nobia, Wren, B&Q, ScS, Dreams, Sofology, The Range.

Expert analysis from a specialist in the field

Written by Marco Amasanti, a leading analyst in the Food & Drink sector, his extensive knowledge delivers in-depth commentary and analysis to highlight current trends and add expert context to the numbers.

Furniture spending dropped sharply in mid-2020, driven by store closures, a sharp decline in the housing market and a reduced appetite for big-ticket purchases. This has quickly recovered, however, as the home gained from extended periods inside and redirected spending. Nonetheless, this disruption has sent shockwaves across the retailing landscape, hurting specialists while diverting sales outside of the sector, both in-store and online.
Marco Amasanti
Retail Analyst

Table of Contents

  1. Overview

    • Key issues covered in this Report
    • COVID-19: market context
    • Economic and other assumptions
    • Products covered in this Report
  2. Executive Summary

    • Huge disruption in mid-2020 is followed by a quick recovery
      • Figure 1: Short-, medium- and long-term impact of COVID-19 on Furniture Retailing, 20 June 2021
    • The market
    • Market size and forecast
      • Figure 2: COVID-19 scenario forecasts, consumer spending on furniture, 2016-26 (prepared on 21 June 2021)
    • Big-ticket sectors hit by disruption in mid-2020, lining up a windfall of new demand moving forward
      • Figure 3: Furniture market segmentation, 2016-20
    • Specialists hit by disruption both online and in-store
      • Figure 4: Estimated channels of distribution for furniture, 2020
    • A year of unprecedented growth online
      • Figure 5: Estimated shares of online spending on furniture, 2019 and 2020
    • Companies and brands
    • Specialist sales drop sharply, before many recover quickly
    • Amazon revenue skyrockets, as discounters, supermarkets, DIY and general retailers make gains in-store
    • Disruption fragments an already fragmented market
      • Figure 6: Estimated market shares of furniture retailers, 2020
    • Increase in beds and mattresses advertising insufficient to offset almost 35% collapse in total sector advertising
    • Significantly differentiated from its competitors, IKEA is the standout brand
    • The consumer
    • COVID-19 has seen a fundamental shift in shopping behaviours
      • Figure 7: Changes in shopping behaviour
    • 64% of consumers engaged in the market; near one third spent £500 or more
      • Figure 8: Furniture expenditure, 2020 and 2021
    • Flexible living sees consumers reimagine their living spaces
      • Figure 9: Rooms purchased for, 2020 and 2021
    • A year of unprecedented online growth
      • Figure 10: Channel of purchase, 2020 and 2021
    • Closures and anxiety see browsing decline in-store
      • Figure 11: Furniture browsing, 2020 and 2021
    • Disruption sees major changes in the retailer landscape
      • Figure 12: Retailers used, 2020 and 2021
    • Non-specialists come to the fore for smaller and frequent purchases
      • Figure 13: Highest spend, 2020 and 2021
    • COVID-19 has given rise to new triggers to purchase
      • Figure 14: Triggers to purchase, 2021
    • Disruption elevates the home, changes the way consumers shop and paves the way for new technologies
      • Figure 15: Furniture shopping behaviours, 2021
  3. Issues and Insights

    • Furniture spending fragments with COVID disruption
    • Store closures see specialists lose out in-store
    • The redirection of demand online drives pure player’s sales
    • How can specialists regain momentum after a year of disruption?
    • Specialists must leverage stores to cater to specific trends
    • And build improved cross-channel propositions to combat online pure players
  4. The Market – Key Takeaways

    • Furniture spending drops by 0.8% in 2020, before a quick 4.7% recovery in 2021
    • Disruption sends shockwaves across the retail sector
    • Big-ticket sectors hit by disruption in mid-2020, lining up a windfall of new demand moving forward
    • A year of unprecedented growth online
  5. Market Size and Performance

    • Huge disruption in mid-2020 is followed by a quick recovery
      • Figure 16: Short-, medium- and long-term impact of COVID-19 on Furniture Retailing, 20 June 2021
    • Furniture spending slips by 0.8% in 2020
    • A very eventful 2020 for furniture
    • Fragmentation of spending in the retailing landscape
    • A year of unprecedented online sales growth
    • New windows to the market with the rise of flexible living
    • But demand grew increasingly polarised
      • Figure 17: Market size for furniture retailing, 2016-21
      • Figure 18: Market size for furniture retailing, at current prices and constant prices, 2016-21
  6. Market Forecast

    • A bumper three years before stabilising
    • Record figures in the housing market
    • Recovery of bigger-ticket projects moving forwards
    • But demand will remain polarised
    • The net-long-term benefit for online
      • Figure 19: Market forecast for the UK furniture retailing, 2016-26
      • Figure 20: Forecast for consumer spending on furniture, at current prices and constant prices, 2016-26 (prepared on 21 June 2021)
    • Market drivers and assumptions
      • Figure 21: Key drivers affecting Mintel’s market forecast, 2015-25 (prepared 21 June 2021)
    • Forecast methodology
  7. COVID-19 Scenario Performance

    • Mintel’s approach to predicting the impact of COVID-19
    • Fundamental differences in how COVID-19 is affecting consumer markets
    • COVID-19 uncertainty remains a decisive factor
    • But this also represents a double-edged sword for furniture
      • Figure 22: COVID-19 scenario forecasts, consumer spending on furniture, 2016-26 (prepared on 21 June 2021)
    • COVID-19 market disruption: risks and outcomes
      • Figure 23: Summary of Mintel scenario expectations and the impact on the furniture retailing market, June 2021
  8. Market Segmentation

    • Extended periods inside see an emphasis on communal rooms
    • With living and dining rooms often at the forefront
    • Big-ticket sectors hit by disruption in mid-2020
    • However, a windfall of new demand moving forward
      • Figure 24: Furniture market segmentation, 2016-20
  9. Channels to Market

    • Specialists hit by disruption
    • Non-specialists make gains in-store
    • DIY Retailers boost sales across home retail markets
    • General retailers and supermarkets grow share
    • Department stores suffer a year of turmoil
    • An unprecedented redirection of demand online
    • Online pure play non-specialists among the greatest benefactors
    • … as pure player specialists also grow share
      • Figure 25: Estimated channels of distribution for furniture, 2020
  10. Online

    • A year of unprecedented growth online
    • Online-only among the greatest benefactors
    • Although specialists see double-figure ecommerce growth
    • The turn to multichannel non-specialists is replicated online
    • Net long-term benefit for the online channel
      • Figure 26: Estimated shares of online spending on furniture, 2019 and 2020
  11. Market Drivers

    • The impact of the 2021 lockdown
    • House moves continue to underpin much demand
    • Although homeowners remain paramount
    • House moves fall by 56.8% in April 2020…
    • …before picking up sharply
      • Figure 27: Monthly UK residential property transactions, January 2019-April 2021
    • Increasing numbers of homeowners
      • Figure 28: England housing tenure, 2015-19
    • Inflation could limit potential uptake
      • Figure 29: Annual rate of inflation, CPIH & furniture and furnishings, August 2020-April 2021
    • Uptake of credit remains down with uncertainty
      • Figure 30: Consumer credit excluding student loans, January 2018-April 2021
    • The shift to working from home
    • Home cooking and baking surges with restrictions
      • Figure 31: Changes to home cooking, 26 March-16 April 2020
  12. Companies and Brands – Key Takeaways

    • Specialist sales drop sharply, before many recover quickly
    • Amazon revenue skyrockets, as discounters, supermarkets, DIY and general retailers make gains in-store
    • Disruption in an already fragmented market
    • Disruption underpins new wave of technological innovations, while sustainability and ethics move up the agenda
    • Increase in beds and mattresses advertising insufficient to offset 35% fall in total sector advertising
    • Significantly differentiated from its competitors IKEA is the standout brand
  13. Leading Specialists

    • IKEA sees sales drop but remains standout
    • DFS announces a restructure as sales drop 27%
    • Although trading picks up in latter 2020
    • Disruption hits latest years’ sales more broadly
    • But some specialists rebound quickly
    • A new opportunity for online-only specialists
      • Figure 32: Leading furniture specialists’ sales, 2015/16-2020/21
    • Operating profits and margins
    • Tempur Sealy purchase of profitable Dreams
    • Store closures hit ScS profits
    • DFS ups its profits forecast after boom in orders
    • Made.com sees improved profits at the group level
      • Figure 33: Leading furniture specialists’ operating profit, 2015/16-2020/21
    • Sharps grows double-figure operating margins
      • Figure 34: Leading furniture specialists’ operating margins, 2015/16-2020/21
    • Stores and outlet data
    • Furniture Village commits to physical expansion amid disruption
    • Wren Kitchens opens 105th store with virtual reality studio
    • Dreams remain committed to current business strategy under new ownership
    • Sofa Workshop store numbers could drop after sale
      • Figure 35: Leading furniture specialists’ outlet data, 2015/16-2020/21
      • Figure 36: Leading furniture specialists’ sales per store, 2015/16-2020/21
  14. Leading Non-specialists

    • Amazon revenue skyrockets with redirection of demand online
    • The Very Group steal a march online
    • Innovation at John Lewis underlines resilience despite difficulties
    • B&Q and Homebase see gains in-store
    • Next focuses on its home ranges
  15. Market Share

    • Disruption in an already fragmented market
    • Multichannel specialists still take the lion’s share despite disruption
    • Online pure players make their presence known
      • Figure 37: Estimated market shares of furniture retailers, 2020
  16. Launch Activity and Innovation

    • Disruption underpins new wave of technological innovations
    • Furniture Village’s Virtual Village
    • Wren stores feature virtual reality studios
    • Wickes launches virtual design service for housebound customers
    • DFS offers in-store video communications
    • John Lewis launches affordable Anyday range
      • Figure 38: John Lewis & Partners Anyday home range, June 2021
    • Sustainability and ethics move up the agenda
    • Vegan furniture
      • Figure 39: John Lewis & Partners EcoMattress, October 2020
    • John Lewis launches furniture rental scheme
    • IKEA unveils BuyBack scheme
    • A rise in second-hand
    • COVID-19 concerns create new product development opportunities
    • Virus-free wardrobe
  17. Advertising and Marketing Activity

    • Near-35% collapse in total advertising expenditure in 2020
      • Figure 40: Total above-the-line, online display and direct mail advertising expenditure on furniture, 2017-20
    • DFS launch its first Christmas brand campaign and switches creative agency
    • Dreams launch TV ad featuring TeamGB and ParalympicsGB ahead of Tokyo Olympic Games
    • Bensons scrap Black Friday promotions
    • Emma Matratzen achieve record sales on back of Black Weekend campaign
    • Victoria Plum appoint new advertising agency to spearhead TV push
    • Wickes ‘Housebarrassment’ campaign
    • Furniture Village ‘Sleep Well, Live Well’ campaign
    • Actress Helena Bonham Carter fronts latest Sofology TV advertising
    • B&Q brand building campaign to reflect the role it has played in transforming homes for the past 50 years
      • Figure 41: Total above-the-line, online display and direct mail advertising expenditure on furniture, by retailer, 2017-20
    • Wren Living Ltd doubles share of total sector advertising spend in 2020
      • Figure 42: Share of total above-the-line, online display and direct mail advertising expenditure on furniture, by retailer, 2020
    • Beds and mattresses account for biggest share of product category advertising expenditure
      • Figure 43: Total above-the-line, online display and direct mail advertising expenditure on furniture, by product category, 2017-20
    • TV attracts the lion’s share of total sector advertising expenditure
      • Figure 44: Total above-the-line, online display and direct mail advertising expenditure on furniture, by media type, 2020
    • Nielsen Ad Intel coverage
  18. Brand Research

    • What you need to know
    • Brand map
      • Figure 45: Attitudes towards and usage of selected brands, 2021
    • Key brand metrics
      • Figure 46: Key metrics for selected brands, 2021
    • Brand attitudes: Oak Furnitureland a brand worth paying more for, IKEA innovative and offers good value for money
      • Figure 47: Attitudes, by brand, 2021
    • Brand personality: Buoyed by their extensive store networks, DFS and Dreams considered accessible
      • Figure 48: Brand personality – macro image, 2021
    • Furniture Village authoritative, IKEA cutting edge, stylish and aspirational
      • Figure 49: Brand personality – micro image, 2021
    • Brand analysis
    • IKEA trustworthy and highly recommended
      • Figure 50: User profile of IKEA, 2021
    • Dreams accessible and reliable, but lacks aspirational appeal
      • Figure 51: User profile of Dreams, 2021
    • Oak Furnitureland expensive, but a brand worth paying more for
      • Figure 52: User profile of Oak Furnitureland, 2021
    • DFS second highest usage but low customer satisfaction
      • Figure 53: User profile of DFS, 2021
    • Furniture Village authoritative but unreliable
      • Figure 54: User profile of Furniture Village, 2021
  19. The Consumer – Key Takeaways

    • Younger consumers, young families and new movers key to the market
    • Disruption shakes the retailing landscape
    • Flexible living opens a new of furniture demands
    • But demand has grown polarised
  20. Impact of COVID-19 on Consumer Behaviour

    • Anxiety eases slightly following third lockdown spike
      • Figure 55: Extremely worried about exposure to COVID-19/coronavirus
    • A fundamental change in shopping behaviours
      • Figure 56: Changes in shopping behaviour
    • Older consumers lead the shift in behaviour
      • Figure 57: Changes in shopping behaviour, by age
    • The sector is buoyed by redirected spending
      • Figure 58: Spending, by sector
  21. What They Spent

    • 64% of consumers engaged in the market
    • Almost one third spent £500 or more
      • Figure 59: Furniture expenditure, 2020 and 2021
    • Middle age bands spearhead higher spending
      • Figure 60: Furniture expenditure, by age, 2021
    • Homeowners invest more
      • Figure 61: Furniture expenditure, by housing situation, 2021
    • House moves provide a long-lasting source of demand
      • Figure 62: Furniture expenditure, by housing situation, 2021
  22. Rooms They Buy For

    • Flexible living sees consumers reimagine their living spaces
    • The shift to working from home comes to fruition
    • Dining Room sales grow with the rise of home cooking and dining
      • Figure 63: Rooms purchased for, 2020 and 2021
    • Consumers with more space look to dining rooms and home offices
      • Figure 64: Rooms purchased for, by house type, 2021
    • 35% purchase for two or more rooms
      • Figure 65: Repertoire for Rooms purchased for, 2021
  23. How They Buy Furniture

    • A year of unprecedented online growth
    • As in-store suffers heavy losses
    • Paving the way for a net-long-term benefit for the online channel
      • Figure 66: Channel of purchase, 2020 and 2021
    • Computers paramount; but a growing role for smartphones
    • Younger consumers look to mobile purchasing
      • Figure 67: Channel of purchase, by age, 2021
    • But the need for stores continues to grow with expenditure
      • Figure 68: Channel of purchase, by furniture expenditure, 2021
  24. How They Browse Furniture

    • Closures and anxiety see heavy losses in-store
      • Figure 69: Furniture browsing, 2020 and 2021
    • Age differences are mirrored in browsing
      • Figure 70: Furniture browsing, by age, 2021
    • Consumers more likely to still browse in-store when spending £1,000 or more
      • Figure 71: Furniture browsing, by furniture expenditure, 2021
  25. Where They Shop for Furniture

    • Disruption sees major changes in the retailer landscape
    • Online pure players make gains
    • Many specialists lose out amid store closures
    • DIY retailers made gains across home retail
    • John Lewis holds its own as other department stores struggle
      • Figure 72: Retailers used, 2020 and 2021
    • Amazon, IKEA and Argos gain from mass-appeal
      • Figure 73: Retailers used, by age and socio-economic group, 2021
    • How specialists can recover momentum
    • 49% of buyers purchased from two or more retailers
      • Figure 74: Repertoire analysis of Retailers used, 2020 and 2021
  26. Where Most Money Spent on Furniture in Last Year

    • Consistent changes seen in where they shop
      • Figure 75: Highest spend, 2020 and 2021
    • Non-specialists come to the fore for smaller and frequent purchases
      • Figure 76: Highest spend, by furniture expenditure, 2021
  27. Triggers to Purchase

    • COVID-19 opens a wealth of new triggers to purchase
    • However, the majority remain the result of necessity
    • The rise in flexible living
    • Consumers turn to furniture to reimagine living spaces
    • The shift to working from home and home schooling
      • Figure 77: Triggers to purchase, 2021
    • Newer triggers to purchase were led by younger shoppers
      • Figure 78: Triggers to purchase, by age and socio-economic group, 2021
    • Motivations vary by duration in current home
      • Figure 79: Triggers to purchase, by housing type, 2021
  28. COVID-19 and Shopping Behaviours

    • Extended periods inside elevate the home
    • But uncertainty splits the consumer base
    • Although this could line the market up for a windfall of newer demand
      • Figure 80: Furniture shopping behaviours, by socioeconomic status, 2021
    • Disruption changes how consumers buy furniture
    • The net-long-term benefit for online
    • Disruption fragments expenditure
      • Figure 81: Furniture shopping behaviours, 2021
    • Younger consumers turn to newer sustainable behaviours
    • Disruption paves the way for new technologies
      • Figure 82: Furniture shopping behaviours, by age, 2021
    • Newer behaviours trigger higher spending
      • Figure 83: Furniture shopping behaviours, by furniture expenditure, 2021
  29. Appendix – Data Sources, Abbreviations and Supporting Information

    • Abbreviations
    • Consumer research methodology
  30. Appendix – Central Forecast Methodology

    • Market forecast and prediction intervals
      • Figure 84: Consumer spending on furniture, best and worst case forecast, 2021-26
    • Market drivers and assumptions
      • Figure 85: Key drivers affecting Mintel’s market forecast, 2020-25
    • Forecast methodology
  31. Appendix – COVID Scenario Performance Methodology and Assumptions

    • Scenario performance
      • Figure 86: Consumer spending on furniture, scenario forecast, 2016-26
    • Rapid COVID recovery, central and extended COVID disruption scenarios outline
    • Scenario methodology

About the report

This market report provides in-depth analysis and insight supported by a range of data. At the same time, introductory and top-level content is provided to give you an overview of the issues covered.

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