Soon after numerous years of healthy growth in the course of the 2nd 50 % of the nineties, the workplace furniture sector in Great Britain has entered a stage of stagnation or only modest expansion. Most of the noticed progress goes on account of higher charges. Sales in actual-terms – that is soon after the elimination of the affect of inflation – are now roughly 30 % reduced than at the beginning of this century. We foresee that progress this yr and once again next calendar year will continue to be lacklustre and hover around the two per cent assortment. If our predictions are proper, the industry benefit will exceed for the initial time the £700 million mark this yr.
Income of filing cupboards and other place of work storage household furniture fared especially poorly. This is not shocking and a reflection of the continuing changeover from paper-based mostly workplaces to paperless places of work. On the other hand, workstations and other program furniture, as effectively as business office chairs have been carrying out greater. In fact the market share of workstations and comparable furniture is now near to one particular-50 %, whilst it was only in the forty per cent range during the late nineties.
An intriguing trend is that wooden business office home furniture is gaining in popularity, even even though these kinds of items are generally far more pricey than steel or plastic furnishings. A achievable explanation for this phenomenon could be the escalating use of technologies in contemporary places of work. Wooden household furniture delivers a excellent counterbalance to an normally sterile atmosphere by offering far more heat to the business office.
International competitors stays a formidable and developing obstacle for Uk workplace household furniture manufacturers. The so known as import penetration – that is the proportion of foreign produced workplace furnishings – approaches one-third. We forecast that it will exceed fifty% by 2010. Throughout the 90s the ratio was much less than one particular-quarter. Most imported items still have their origin in other European countries, but imports from China and other Asian nations (this kind of as Vietnam) display by considerably the quickest development price.