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Trends for 2020 | FOCUS


Ceralsio Cervino by CRL Stone


Smeg’s Dolce Stil Novo collection of luxury appliances


Brexit Brexit


continues to cause much economic


uncertainty, but anecdotal evidence seems to suggest that the house-building sector has been harder and that homeowners are fed up of waiting- and-seeing and are choosing to get projects done. This has been good news for retailers, particularly at the mid to premium end who, on the whole, have reported growth and healthy levels of business. It is largely agreed that the UK will likely face import taxes, red tape and delays at our ports and borders, as well as price rises.


On the flip side, most manufacturers are remaining positive and some UK brands believe they will benefit. For example, consumers choosing to renovate rather than relocate are happy to spend a bit more on quality and are also shopping more carefully to source the best things their money can buy. It’s potentially a race to the top rather than the race to the bottom of years gone by when price was king. In addition, retailers feel that Brexit could see the playing field levelled because of inevitable price rises coming from European kitchen brands


and also because UK brands won’t face the same problems in terms of delays and border bureaucracy. Perhaps the ‘Made in Britain’ stamp will hold greater currency after we leave the EU. Though, as Keller Kitchens national sales manager


Tim Spann notes, there is no such thing as Brexit- proof in this product category.


January 2020 · kbbreview


“In the crowded middle ground of our arena, there is no such thing as a 100% British kitchen. All of the British suppliers producing quality kitchen furniture will


be buying materials or components from


European manufacturers. This means that many of the aspects of potential additional costs will affect British and Continental manufacturers in the same way from the cost perspective. However, Keller is expecting price increases (if there are any) to be modest and perfectly within reason.”


Sustainability


The trend for nature- inspired and natural materials will continue with metallics set to remain strong in 2020


One of the materials most central to furniture production is wood, so the sustainable management of forests just makes good business sense, and most furniture products on sale in the UK will be produced from Forest Stewardship Council (FSC)- or Programme for the Endorse- ment of Forest Certification (PEFC)-certified timber, meaning that it’s come from sustainable, well-managed or recycled sources.


In addition, as Dave Huggins, business develop- ment director at International Decorative Surfaces, notes,


the next trend to emerge in 2020 will be for toxin- and formaldehyde-free products.


“The trend will initially filter through from businesses to consumers on the back of new emissions legislation that comes into effect in Germany this month requiring formaldehyde traces in wood product to be just 0.05 parts per million,” Huggins


Mereway has identified


Contemporary Scandi as a trend


39


explains. “Despite the current uncertainty around Brexit, this will undoubtedly impact on the furniture manufacturing industry, which will heighten awareness among consumers who are already tuned in to wanting the cleanest and greenest products for a healthy and eco-friendly home. “Recognising the move towards formaldehyde- free, we have put in place an exclusive distribution agreement with Swiss Krono to supply their BE. YOND furniture-grade particle board throughout the UK. It boasts an emissions level equivalent to natural trees, making it the most environmentally-friendly product of its kind currently on the market worldwide.” Luxury wood flooring brand Ark One also takes sustainability seriously and uses no formaldehyde in its products. In addition, the company sources materials from actively replenished forests, and for every tree cut down, two are replanted. Co-founder Jago Anderson, comments: “We are so confident in our manufacturing process, that we can trace back every piece of wood to the tree it came from, while any offcuts are transformed into wood pellets to be used as an economical fuel source within our factories, resulting in a zero-waste policy.” Keith Wardrope, managing director of Hills Panel Products (HPP), adds: “HPP is receiving more feedback from trade customers and professionals, such as architects and interior specifiers, asking about the environmental sustainability of furniture products and raw materials.


“Laminate kitchen worktops have wood-based cores and many of our worktops are FSC-certified. These types of products can reassure trade customers and consumers that the furniture





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