It has been a positive year so far for UK homewares, showing an overall value growth of 3% with volume up 2.5%. The January sales period played its part although beyond that kitchenwares has been the hero sector with consistent growth throughout the first six months of the year (+3.2%). This is on top of a strong performance in 2014 which saw growth of 6%. This can be attributed to a handful of areas, mainly napkins (+16.8%), kitchen utensils (+2.3%) and other tablewares (+12.3%). There is a continuing trend of UK households entertaining at home, and as a result are more interested in their kitchens and dining areas.
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However in kitchenware’s there is not growth across the board. Food storage shows a decline of 1.6% in the first half of the year 2015 (H1) when compared with the same period last year. This has mainly been driven by a reduction in sales of wine racks and lunchboxes/flasks. The second half of the year is historically stronger for these products so it will be interesting to see if this trend improves.
A further sector that has performed consistently well is home accessories and more specifically the enhancements category. The most notable increase is again within candles and candle accessories, which show strong growth of 13.8% on the month and 14% on the quarter. Retail continues to capitalise on this trend with store layouts supporting a wider range of products and more variants available.
We know historically in the second half (H2) of the year it is a busier period for homewares than H1, and looking ahead we see no reason why overall sales growth should not continue throughout 2015. Figures from the ONS* report an 11% increase in new house builds for Q1 2015 compared to the same quarter last year. This trend should continue with the improved macro-economic conditions and consumer confidence. We do see a flattening of overall property transactions as reported by HMRC; however the figure remains at around 100,000 per month. Early GfK homewares figures for the first two weeks of July show slight growth on the corresponding weeks of 2014. When looking at these indicators in conjunction with the H1 trend it leads us to believe that we can anticipate overall growth in this market for the year as a whole.
The GfK Homewares Category Report is published weekly and monthly and is based on live EPOS sales aggregated from a fixed set of retailers. The report has been relaunched in July 2015.
*Office of National Statistics. 2015. House Building: March Quarter 2015 Anthony Creaby, Account Manager – Retail World, T +44 20 7890 9130