The hospitality, leisure and retail sectors have been greatly affected by the Covid-19 lockdown but what does that mean for the contract flooring market? AMA Research discusses.

INTRODUCTION The hospitality, leisure and retail sectors were estimated to account for a combined value share of 36% of the £1bn overall UK contract floorcoverings market in 2019. Value share had seen only marginal growth since 2018 as the value of construction new work remained static. The large number of subsectors including hotels, food service, sports stadia, retail developments, and so on, means that there is always significant potential for a variety of floorcoverings products. Because of the large footfall experienced by many outlets, renovation maintenance and improvement (RMI) projects provide considerable opportunities for floorcovering suppliers whilst the need to maintain a fresh and positive décor scheme, particularly within retail, also tends to underpin normal levels of demand.


& RETAIL SECTORS The hospitality, leisure and retail sectors have felt the full impact of the Covid-19


lockdown restrictions with many businesses forced to close in March this year. Although the lifting of restrictions allowed some businesses to resume trading from July onwards, the more recent spectre of a second pandemic spike and the imposition of number of local lockdowns has cast a further shadow over the sector.

The diversity of enterprises within the hospitality and leisure sector provides opportunities for a large range of floorcoverings products. The food service sector tends to focus on products that can be easily cleaned and maintained and as such is a significant end-user of vinyl sheet and tiles as well as ceramic and porcelain floor tiles. The ease of cleaning and ability to disinfect floor surfaces is likely to be an increasingly important specification factor for the food services sector into the medium-term.

The health and sports sector is important for wood floorcoverings particularly laminates and specialist sprung sports flooring as well as vinyl and floor tiles for changing rooms. The

spa sector on the other hand is a key end-user of natural stone tiles.

Whilst the UK retail sector currently faces a very uncertain future, particularly the department store subsector, it will remain an important end-user of a wide range of flooring materials due to the number of organisations currently in operation. Whilst larger-scale new-build plans by some companies are likely to be put on hold or cancelled in the short- term, the RMI sector could provide some opportunities, particularly where outlets are taken on a short-term lease.

Into 2020, the picture is less positive with new work output

likely to see significant reversal during the

year with a decline of around 28-30%.

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