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Winners & Losers In Flooring

THE latest edition of the Palmer Market Research report on the contract floorcovering market in Great Britain, exclusively previewed in CFJ, heralds brighter prospects in this sector.
The authoritative report reveals a decline in the UK contract flooring market by nearly 7% between 2011 and 2013 to 61.8 million sq m.
Latest figures contained in the Palmer report show that overall a difficult two year period is coming to an end; but not in all sectors.
‘This was in line with our forecast two years ago.
‘But not all floorcoverings saw poor performance. Resilient products fared better than carpet,’ explains director Robert Palmer.
Resilient floorcoverings managed a 1% increase overall with luxury vinyl tiles (LVTs) in particular up by 23%.
At the other end of the spectrum roll (broadloom) carpets declined by 19%, and even the carpet tile market fell by 9% over the two year period.
Broadloom carpets lost share in five out of 10 sectors, including education and leisure which are also two of the three largest.
l Carpet tiles also lose market share: Carpet tiles lost share in their key sector, commercial offices, which was only partly made up by increases in other smaller sectors.
Including both broadloom and tiles, carpet’s share of the market fell from 45% in 2011 to 42% in 2013, while resilient’s share grew from 36% to 40%.
And this is part of a longer term trend. In 2000, carpet had 59% share and resilient 26%.
Other products including wood, ceramic tiles and seamless resin make up the remainder of the market.
l Declining picture in sectors: Sector trends show that over all contract floorcoverings, commercial offices declined

by 4% between 2011 and 2013, leisure by 6%, shops by 12% and education by 16%.
Looking forward, improvements in the wider economy will have a beneficial effect for contract floorcoverings.
Palmer expects the market to be 16% higher in 2018 than it was in 2013 at 71.4 million sq m.
But gains will be restricted to the private sectors which account for about 60% of the market; offices and leisure will see strongest growth.
Funding cuts in the public sectors, accounting for 35% of the market, will result in only education seeing any increase at all between 2013 and 2018.
l Market shares revealed: By 2018, the shares taken by carpet and resilient will be neck and neck, 42% and 41% respectively with other floorcoverings accounting for the remaining 17%.
When choosing a floorcovering brand, competitive price has become more important to specifiers over the last two years overtaking decorative appearance but still behind product quality as the most important.
l Service is becoming a bigger issue: For contractors overall service is now more important than delivery frequency but still behind product quality and competitive price.
Interestingly, sustainability is more important to contractors than to specifiers. For both specifiers and contractors nine attributes were rated and then ranked in order of importance.
Manufacturers rated: In the study major carpet and resilient manufacturers were also rated by specifiers and contractors for these nine attributes, together with their overall preferred manufacturers.
The Contract Floorcovering Market in Great Britain, 2014 edition, was developed by carrying out structured interviews with 600 contractors, specifiers, manufacturers and distributors, between July and October 2014.
As ever, this was backed up by an extensive desk research programme, as well as Palmer Market Research’s proprietary database which stretches back for over 30 years.
It is a comprehensive report, recognised as an industry standard. It gives historical and forecast data about the market, divided both by product type and sector.
It also provides information about purchaser’s decision-making processes, and attitudes to manufacturers.

This article has been reproduced from the Contract Flooring Journal. You can find them at