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Domestic Kitchen Furniture Market Report - UK 2011-2015 Analysis
The UK domestic kitchen furniture market experienced steady growth in the 2002-2007 period, reaching a market size of £1,390m by the end of the period. The decline in the housebuilding sector, together with a downturn in consumer spending and tighter financial conditions resulted in a significant decline in the market in 2008 and an even steeper fall in 2009, however, the market began to show some stability in 2010.
During this period the level of price competition has remained high in most sectors of the market, but particularly in the low and mid priced sectors.
The kitchen furniture market comprises furniture, worktops and sinks, with furniture accounting for 76% of the market in value terms, whilst worktops account for 14% and sinks for 10%. Worktops have gradually gained market share in recent years in line with the trend towards higher value products in this sector.
The kitchen furniture market is at the mature stage of its product lifecycle. Consumer awareness is high and purchasing decisions tend to be based on design, colour and materials. Features such as soft-closing doors and drawers, sophisticated lighting and additional electrical appliances such as televisions and coffee machines are increasing in popularity.
At the upper end of the market handle-free doors are offered by some manufacturers in line with sleek, minimalist styles. High gloss finishes, stainless steel, frosted glass, wood and metallic finishes are all popular, with combinations of materials frequently used to add interest.
Demand for design features in the kitchen has increased the importance of both worktops and sinks which can create high visual impact. High gloss laminates, solid surfaces and granite all increased in popularity in the mid 2000s, although their growth has been restricted during the downturn in the market and the affordability of laminates means that they are likely to continue to dominate the market in the foreseeable future.
The popularity of dishwashers has contributed towards changing the use of a sink from an area simply for washing up, to a multi-functional work centre, which incorporates features for washing, food preparation and drainage. Multi-functional sinks are widely available, with a range of different features, such as strainer and draining bowls in varying depths, a variety of chopping boards, larger sinks, as well as associated products such as pull out spray rinse taps. In general, the focus on food preparation and overall design is helping to promote the growth of the sinks market.
Imports of kitchen furniture increased significantly in 2007 and to a lesser extent in 2008, reaching £188m in 2008, compared to £162m in 2007, before declining by almost 20% in 2009 and by a further 15% in 2010, to reach £129m. Imports currently account for around 14% of the kitchen furniture market. Italy (47%) and Germany (31%) are the major sources of imports and Alno, the German based company, is a major exporter to the UK.
The distribution channel structure has experienced some changes in recent years, with a sharp fall in the share held by the furniture multiple sector, due to the closure of MFI and a shift towards builders' merchants, with the sector benefiting from MFI's demise.
'Domestic Kitchen Furniture Market Report - UK 2011 - 2015 Analysis' is available in hard copy or electronic format.
29th July 2011