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UK Carpets and Floorcoverings market report

"At last retailers are trying to escape from always relying on discounting to generate interest and are shifting their emphasis to home-making and style. This comes at a time when the market has gained momentum, with new energy because of stronger consumer confidence and a pick-up in the housing market."

Jane Westgarth, Senior Market Analyst

This report answers the following questions:

  • How can retailers move away from the focus on discounting and create more added value?
  • When people buy flooring and carpets how much does service matter?
  • Are people buying as part of a whole room makeover?

After several years of weak demand, consumer spending on carpets and floorcoverings has revived, stimulated by a more buoyant housing market. Retailers, which had struggled to make any gains in sales, have seen an uptick in sales volumes because of this. But, the carpet market has been changing fast and there has been a swing away from wool to synthetics with a corresponding fall in typical prices charged. Plus, the long-term trend towards smooth flooring means that wood, laminates, tiles and vinyl all compete for attention against fitted carpets, yet favour demand for loose carpets and rugs.

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Table of contents

  1. Overview

    • What you need to know
      • Products covered in this Report
        • Carpets and rugs
          • Smooth flooring
          • Executive Summary

              • The market
                • Growth of 11.3% expected by 2022
                  • Figure 1: Consumer spending on carpets and floorcoverings, 2012-22
                • Carpets expect good growth, smooth flooring will slow down
                  • Buoyant housing market
                    • Figure 2: UK households, by size, 2012-22
                  • Companies and brands
                    • Tapi on the rise as Carpetright falters
                      • Advertising starts to recover
                        • The consumer
                          • Living rooms most popular room to refurbish
                            • Figure 3: Rooms for which carpets and floorcoverings were purchased in the last three years, October 2016 and March 2018
                          • Carpets remain most popular flooring purchase
                            • Figure 4: Types of flooring purchased in the last three years, netted, March 2018
                          • Independents remain the most popular retailer of choice
                            • Figure 5: Retailers and suppliers of carpets and floorcovering used for purchase in the last three years, March 2018
                          • Stores are important for carpet and floorcovering inspiration
                            • Figure 6: Sources of inspiration when buying carpets or floorcoverings in the last three years, March 2018
                          • Price reductions matter little for consumers
                            • Figure 7: Reason for purchasing carpets or floorcoverings in the last three years, March 2018
                          • Good quality flooring is the main reason for not purchasing carpet or floorcovering
                            • Figure 8: Reasons for not purchasing carpets or floorcoverings in the last three years, March 2018
                          • Consumers want floorings which are easy to clean and stylish
                            • Figure 9: Important factors when purchasing carpets or floorcovering, any rank netted, March 2018
                          • What we think
                          • Issues and Insights

                            • Competition intensifies in the sector
                              • The facts
                                • The implications
                                  • Growing sales of carpets and floorcoverings
                                    • The facts
                                      • The implications
                                      • The Market – What You Need to Know

                                        • Market set to grow 11.3% over the coming years
                                          • Carpets growth of 12.5% by 2022
                                            • Price of carpets and floorcoverings remain below national rate of inflation
                                              • Independents remain biggest channel to market
                                                • Tapi likely to capture future market share, but currently remains small
                                                  • Buoyant housing market drives growth
                                                  • Market Size and Forecast

                                                    • Growth of 11.3% expected by 2022
                                                      • Figure 10: Consumer spending on carpets and floorcoverings, 2012-22
                                                      • Figure 11: Consumer spending on carpets and floorcoverings, 2017-22
                                                  • Market Segmentation

                                                    • Carpet growth expected to be 12.5% by 2022
                                                      • Figure 12: Consumer spending on carpets, 2012-22
                                                      • Figure 13: Consumer spending on carpets, 2017-22
                                                    • Smooth flooring growth expected to slow
                                                      • Figure 14: Consumer spending on smooth floorings, 2012-22
                                                      • Figure 15: Consumer spending on smooth floorings, 2017-22
                                                    • Forecast methodology
                                                    • Channels to Market

                                                      • Independent stores maintain the biggest share
                                                        • Figure 16: Estimated channels to market, 2017
                                                      • Carpetright remains the largest specialist
                                                        • B&Q offering more and capturing market share
                                                          • Looking ahead
                                                          • Market Drivers

                                                            • Household numbers rising in the country
                                                              • Figure 17: UK households, by size, 2012-22
                                                            • Property transactions stagnate
                                                              • Figure 18: UK property transactions above £40,000, 2013-17
                                                            • Carpets and floorcoverings prices remain below national inflation
                                                              • Figure 19: CPIH for overall index and carpets and other floor coverings, 2007-17
                                                            • Shift from buying to renting
                                                              • Figure 20: UK Household tenure status, 2011-16
                                                            • Sales of floorcoverings remain volatile…
                                                              • Figure 21: Annual % change in all retail sales, floorcoverings*, non-seasonally adjusted value series, January 2016-February 2018
                                                              • Figure 22: Annual % change in all retail sales, floorcoverings*, non-seasonally adjusted volume series, January 2016-February 2018
                                                            • Average weekly sales dip in December and June
                                                              • Figure 23: Average weekly sales of floorcoverings*, Dec 2015-Feb 2018
                                                            • Real incomes squeeze coming to an end
                                                              • Figure 24: Real wage growth: wages growth vs inflation, January 2015-March 2018
                                                          • Companies and Brands – What You Need to Know

                                                            • New player on the block with Tapi
                                                              • Homebase/Bunnings falters as future is uncertain
                                                                • Carpetright remains the leading specialist but is experiencing difficulties
                                                                  • Carpetright invests in online experience
                                                                    • Ad spending rises in 2017
                                                                      • Press remains the most popular way to advertise
                                                                      • Competitive Strategies

                                                                        • Carpetright initiates CVA amid falling sales and profits
                                                                          • H1 2017 sales and profits fall
                                                                            • Post-Christmas sales fail to deliver
                                                                              • Profit warning issued in March
                                                                                • CVA considered
                                                                                  • Emergency loan secured
                                                                                    • CVA proposed
                                                                                      • CVA approved by shareholders and creditors as profit warning is issued
                                                                                        • What next for Carpetright?
                                                                                          • Figure 25: New format Carpetright store
                                                                                        • Tapi enters the scene with aggressive store openings
                                                                                          • Figure 26: Tapi store
                                                                                        • B&Q becomes most popular single retailer through good selection
                                                                                          • Homebase/Bunnings loses position
                                                                                            • Home Solutions by John Lewis
                                                                                            • Launch Activity and Innovation

                                                                                              • Carpetright launches augmented reality, ‘Visualiser’, for its website
                                                                                                • Figure 27: Carpetright ‘Visualiser’
                                                                                              • IKEA looks at carpet rental…
                                                                                                • …and collaborates with Louis Vuitton designer
                                                                                                  • Figure 28: IKEA x Virgil rug
                                                                                                • Carpet made from plastic bottles
                                                                                                  • Berber carpets made from recycled designer clothes
                                                                                                  • Advertising and Marketing Activity

                                                                                                    • Advertising starts to recover but still below 2015 levels
                                                                                                      • Figure 29: Total above-the line, online display and direct mail advertising expenditure on carpets and floorcoverings, 2014/15-2017/18*
                                                                                                    • Independents dominate advertising
                                                                                                      • Figure 30: Total above-the-line, online display and direct mail advertising expenditure on carpets and floorcoverings, by retailer, 2017
                                                                                                      • Figure 31: Leading UK retail advertisers of carpets and floorcoverings: recorded above-the-line, online display and direct mail total advertising expenditure, 2015-18
                                                                                                    • Press most popular way to advertise
                                                                                                      • Figure 32: Recorded above-the-line, online display and direct mail total advertising expenditure on carpets and floorcoverings, by media type, 2017
                                                                                                      • Figure 33: Recorded above-the-line, online display and direct mail total advertising expenditure on carpets and floorcoverings, by media type and advertiser, 2017
                                                                                                    • Campaign highlights
                                                                                                      • Carpetright sponsors UKTV and signs on Lucy Alexander
                                                                                                        • Tapi’s #floorgasm
                                                                                                          • ScS Christmas 2017 campaign ‘I Like It’
                                                                                                            • Nielsen Ad Intel coverage
                                                                                                            • The Consumer – What You Need to Know

                                                                                                              • Living room most popular place to refurbish
                                                                                                                • Carpet most popular type of floorcovering to buy
                                                                                                                  • B&Q now the most popular single retailer
                                                                                                                    • In-store browsing is the main source of carpet and floorcovering ideas
                                                                                                                      • General refurbishment the main reason for buying
                                                                                                                        • Already owning high-quality carpets and floorcovering is the main reason for not buying
                                                                                                                          • Cleanliness and colours most popular factors when purchasing new carpet or floorcoverings
                                                                                                                          • Purchases of Carpets and Floorcoverings by Room

                                                                                                                            • Living room remains most popular place to buy new carpets or floorcoverings for
                                                                                                                              • Figure 34: Rooms for which carpets and floorcoverings were purchased in the last three years, October 2015-March 2018
                                                                                                                              • Figure 35: Rooms for which carpets and floorcoverings were purchased in the last three years, repertoire analysis, March 2018
                                                                                                                            • Living room most likely to be refurbished in first two years
                                                                                                                              • Figure 36: Rooms for which carpets and floorcoverings were purchased in the last three years by length of stay in current home, March 2018
                                                                                                                          • Types of Floorcoverings Purchased in the Last Three Years

                                                                                                                            • Carpets most popular type of floorcovering bought
                                                                                                                              • Figure 37: Types of flooring purchased in the last three years, netted, March 2018
                                                                                                                            • Fitted carpets remain most popular purchase
                                                                                                                              • Figure 38: Types of flooring purchased in the last three years, October 2015 and March 2018
                                                                                                                              • Figure 39: Types of flooring purchased in the last three years, repertoire analysis, March 2018
                                                                                                                          • Where Carpets and Floorcoverings Were Bought

                                                                                                                            • Sector dominated by independents
                                                                                                                              • Figure 40: Retailers and suppliers of carpets and floorcovering used for purchase in the last three years, March 2018
                                                                                                                            • Retailers are the most popular way to buy carpets or floorcoverings
                                                                                                                              • Figure 41: Retailers and suppliers of carpets and floorcovering used for purchase in the last three years, Netted, March 2018
                                                                                                                            • Only a single retailer bought from in most cases
                                                                                                                              • Figure 42: Retailers and suppliers of carpets and floorcovering used for purchase in the last three years, repertoire analysis, March 2018
                                                                                                                          • Sources of Inspiration When Buying Carpets or Floorcoverings

                                                                                                                            • In-store browsing the most popular source of inspiration
                                                                                                                              • Friends and family most common inspiration for young people
                                                                                                                                • Figure 43: Sources of inspiration when buying carpets or floorcoverings in the last three years, March 2018
                                                                                                                                • Figure 44: Sources of inspiration when buying carpets or floorcoverings in the last three years, by age group, March 2018
                                                                                                                              • Online sources are growing in importance, but offline still the most popular
                                                                                                                                • Figure 45: Sources of inspiration when buying carpets or floorcoverings in the last three years, netted, March 2018
                                                                                                                              • Single source of inspiration is enough
                                                                                                                                • Figure 46: Sources of inspiration when buying carpets or floorcoverings in the last three years, netted, March 2018
                                                                                                                            • Reasons for Purchasing Carpets or Floorcoverings

                                                                                                                              • General refurbishment the most common reason for purchase
                                                                                                                                • Price reductions appear as less of a concern
                                                                                                                                  • Figure 47: Reason for purchasing carpets or floorcoverings in the last three years, March 2018
                                                                                                                                • Young people most likely to want to update style and colour
                                                                                                                                  • Figure 48: Reason for purchasing carpets or floorcoverings in the last three years, by age, March 2018
                                                                                                                              • Reasons for Not Purchasing Carpets or Floorcoverings

                                                                                                                                • Good quality flooring a barrier to new purchases
                                                                                                                                  • Consumers have enough choice
                                                                                                                                    • A lack of priority could be turned into an advantage
                                                                                                                                      • Figure 49: Reasons for not purchasing carpets or floorcoverings in the last three years, March 2018
                                                                                                                                    • Elderly most likely to have high quality floorcovering, therefore least likely to buy
                                                                                                                                      • Figure 50: Reasons for not purchasing carpets or floorcoverings in the last three years, by age, March 2018
                                                                                                                                  • Important Factors When Purchasing Carpets or Floorcoverings

                                                                                                                                    • Cleanliness and colour ranked as most important factors
                                                                                                                                      • Potential for tie-up with cleaning companies
                                                                                                                                        • Eco-friendly and made in the UK not ranked highly
                                                                                                                                          • Figure 51: Important factors when purchasing carpets or floorcovering, March 2018
                                                                                                                                        • Consumers prefer professional fitting to self-fitting
                                                                                                                                          • But a minority still want to fit it themselves
                                                                                                                                            • Figure 52: Important factors when purchasing carpets or floorcovering, any rank netted, March 2018
                                                                                                                                        • Appendix – Data Sources, Abbreviations and Supporting Information

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

                                                                                                                                                • Forecast methodology