Post-pandemic life – How is the bathroom world faring?

Date Added 21.07.22

Post-pandemic life – How is the bathroom world faring?

Last year was a record-breaking year for the bathroom industry. Despite a pandemic, and lockdowns, and all sorts of restrictions on our daily lives, the market positively flourished, with sales higher than ever.

According to the Bathroom Manufacturers Association (BMA), sales among its members (which total more than 80 per cent of the market) reached nearly £1.2bn in 2021.

BMA chief executive Tom Reynolds said: “Initially, the pandemic forced sales to plummet as the economy shutdown. There was a great level of uncertainty with some predictions looking grim in terms of consumer spending on home improvement. However, that gloom has proved unfounded with unprecedented interest in bathroom refurbishment since late 2020.

“The bounce-back has continued through the whole of 2021, with total sales exceeding £1.18 billion, 4% up on pre-pandemic levels. This shows the resilience of companies in our industry.”

Darren Allison, managing director of BC Designs, who we speak to on page 34, agrees that the market is continuing to flourish.

“Frankly, the market over the course of the pandemic and beyond has been amazing; the growth has been phenomenal.

“The housing market is buoyant – and what’s the first thing you do when you move into a new house? The kitchen or the bathroom.

“We’re also seeing that people now are much more interested in where they live, because they’ve spent so much time at home, so instead of just existing, they want something that really suits them.”

And what about the future? Will the changes we’ve all seen over the course of the past two years continue to impact on the way we live and work?

With headlines increasingly filled with stories about rising inflation and interest rates, not to mention a cost-of-living crisis and demand outstripping supply, is the bathroom bubble about to burst?

Tom Reynolds, CEO of the Bathroom Manufacturers Association, is one of the voices urging caution about the challenges in global shipping and UK haulage that has left many bathroom manufacturers struggling to keep up with such unprecedented demand.

While the cost of living crisis may have an impact on the bathroom industry as it recovers from the pandemic, business leaders’ concerns are being heard.

In his Spring Statement in March, Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced a cut in fuel duty for only the second time in 20 years. It will be reduced by 5p a litre for a full 12 months, which will no doubt come as a relief to all those who have watched prices at the pumps creep up.

With steps like these, and the housing market remaining buoyant, we’re confident that the market can continue to flourish – no matter the landscape.

 

 

What are your predictions for the bathroom market in 2022?

We’d love to hear your thoughts.

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