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Growing importance of furniture

In Germany as well as in France and the United Kingdom DIY retailers are reporting growth in the furniture segment

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In Germany as well as in France and the United Kingdom DIY retailers are reporting growth in the furniture segment. Particular attention is being paid to the area in megastores with retail areas in excess of 10 000 m2, where an appropriate display space is devoted to such products.
Takeaway furniture: DIY store sales growing.
In France the furniture sector in DIY superstores is on course for growth as is the area of interior decoration as well. The product offer includes occasional furniture of course, but kitchen and bathroom furnishings plus cupboards and organiser systems too. The market volume for bathroom furniture amounts to about 381 Mio euro (FRF 2 500 Mio). The share of this total going to self-assembly furniture is around 65 per cent. Sales in the area of wardrobes and organiser systems have seen particularly strong growth in French DIY stores. Here it is the manufacturers above all who have ensured that self-assembly furniture for more sophisticated tastes is to be had in self-service systems. Price is not really uppermost in the minds of French consumers, who tend to demand a mixture of quality, service and price.
In the United Kingdom above all the sale of furniture through DIY stores is expected to jump ahead. The proportion of sales attributable to furniture and related articles is expected to increase by two percentage points to 31.8 per cent. The DIY stores are becoming an increasingly important channel of distribution for fitted kitchens and wardrobes as well as furniture for the bathroom, livingroom, bedroom, playroom and home office.
As long ago as 1998 Wickes started trials in six of its then total of 122 stores which included expansion of the presentation of kitchen and bedroom furniture among other things. In contrast to this, Homebase, Britain’s No. 2, announced last year that it was giving up its kitchen segment and closing the remaining 99 kitchen studios: a loss of 7 Mio euro (£ 5 Mio) was in store for the group in 1999. Kitchens were not a part of the Homebase business prior to its acquisition of Texas, whereas the former Texas DIY stores were among the biggest kitchen retailers in the United Kingdom.
For Germany the figure for the market volume achieved by furniture in 1997 came to 28 600 Mio euro (DM 56 000 Mio). According to a survey undertaken by management consultancy Titze of Neuss, the DIY stores managed to notch up a 3.2 per cent share of this total, which comes to 920 Mio euro (DM 1 800 Mio). The tendency here is slightly…
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