Sales volume is holding up, but value is down, according to the National Bed Federation's (NBF) latest State of Trade report.
Sales data from Q2 2019 has been gathered independently from NBF members to gain insight into the bed market.
LFL volume YoY was level (based on 43 members which submitted in both periods), but value fell by -2.5%. LFL bed set volume was up +7%, but value dropped -5.5%, with average selling price down from £215 to £189 (across all sizes).
Mattresses sold separately were slightly down on a LFL basis – by just over -1% on volume and value.
Jessica Alexander, executive director of the NBF, says: “While it’s great to see that sales volume is holding up, revenue is down, which suggests that there is a squeeze on selling prices and a further squeeze on profit margins, so our members will be feeling the pinch. Some encouraging news can be found in that while only 15% of members were positive about the state of trade (substantially lower than the 29% who felt optimistic in the same period in 2018) it is at the same level as the first quarter of this year – so at least things haven’t got any worse since April!”
Other findings from the report included 13% of members reporting a decrease in selling prices (nearly double compared to Q1's 7%). However, 26% had increased their prices, with a small number increasing prices by more than +5%.
Worryingly, 41% reported a drop in profit margins in Q2, compared to just 7% declaring an increase.
Jessica adds: “It is still a very tough, uncertain market at the moment, and with more than half of our members concerned about the level of orders affecting their productivity during Q3 2019, it looks like there may be a rocky road ahead.”
The NBF Sales Tracker and Barometer of Trade report is available in full to participating NBF members via the members-only area of the federation's website.