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CARPET & CARPET TILES


FOCUS ON: THE CARPET MARKET


MARKET PERFORMANCE The UK carpet market is mature and highly susceptible to the changing economic climate. As a result, the economic downturn has impacted badly on sales of floorcoverings, reflecting a combination of a fall in both housebuilding and contract sector investment. While there was little change in the retail trading environment in 2012, with the housing market continuing to be depressed, higher demand from some key contract sectors meant that there was a slight


FUTURE PROSPECTS Prospects for the carpet market over the short-to medium-term remain reliant on the strength and timing of recovery in the UK housing and commercial office sectors. A slight rise in private housing sector activity is likely to be offset by further falls in public sector housing, and growth in the commercial


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upward trend in market value, despite the underlying economic climate.


While carpets have seen a steady erosion of share over the last 20 years, due mainly to the growth of wood, laminates and tiles, the last few years has seen the market become more stable. Carpets are still the dominant sector accounting for around 60% of the market, and should benefit from any upturn in the market.


Despite their high quality and durability, woven carpets have steadily


office sector is expected to be moderate at best in 2013-14.


Growth of just 1-2% is currently estimated for 2013, as the housing market starts to show some tentative signs of recovery, though demand for refurbishment and new build work in the contract sector remains subdued in early-mid 2013. However, the domestic


lost their share over the last decade, with Axminster Carpets entering administration early in 2013. This reflected a general trend towards plainer designs, particularly in the domestic market, as homeowners look for more neutral colours in their choice of carpets.


Wovens now account for less than 20% of the market and it is difficult to forecast any significant recovery in market share, at least in the medium- term future.


market remains difficult, with many floorcovering specialists indicating that carpet sales have, at best, remained static throughout the year.


Into the medium-term, market prospects remain ‘hopeful’, but with only moderate rates of annual growth anticipated to 2016, when the carpet sector is forecast to reach around £1.04bn.


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