UK Furniture & Flooring Sector Report | Trends & Data
UK Furniture & Flooring Sector Report : August 2021Access report with a free trial subscription
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Period covered: 29 November – 02 January 2021
Note: Reporting periods are either one month or two months behind the current month as standard.
Lockdown hampers growth
- Furniture & Flooring sales plummeted in January, falling by 29.8% year-on-year, compared with a 1.8% growth a year ago.
- Sales growth was hampered by the announcement of the third national lockdown on 4th January to begin the following day, leading to the closure of non-essential retailers.
- Indeed, during periods of lockdown, parts of the sector that are more reliant on physical touchpoints throughout the customer journey have been particularly hard-hit.
- Retail sales fell by 1.7% in January, year-on-year, according to the Retail Economics Retail Sales Index (value, non-seasonally adjusted, exc. Fuel).
- There was a sharp polarisation between the performance of food (+9.1%) and non-food (-12.2%).
- However, there was a significant shift towards online as consumers reverted seamlessly to lockdown shopping behaviour.
Housing market muted
- Data on housing market activity weakened compared to its stellar performance in recent months, with indicators for enquiries, agreed sales and new instructions all deteriorating in January, according to RICS.
- In fact, these measures turned negative for the first time since May 2020.
- Welcome news for the sector could arrive in next weeks Budget with speculation that the government may extend the stamp duty holiday, affording home buyers more time to complete deals.
- Demand in February is expected to be fairly muted with similar market conditions to January.
- Looking forward, the outlook is more positive. The reopening of stores, greater social contact and a boost from new housing transactions are all likely to support growth as lockdown restrictions are eased.
- For these reasons, Retail Economics forecast furniture and flooring sales in 2021 to rise by 11.2% on the previous year, following a 9.3% decline a year ago.
Furniture sales decline as non-essential retail closes againSource: Retail Economics