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Market Research Report

United Kingdom (U.K) Office Furniture Market Outlook 2019-2035 : Market Size, Trends, Growth, Opportunities | COVID-19 Impact Analysis

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United Kingdom

United Kingdom Office Furniture Market Overview

The revenue in the office furniture segment amounts to USD 5,601 million in 2020. The market is expected to grow annually by 0.30 (CAGR 20219-2035). In relation to the total population figures, per persons revenues of USD 82.50 are generated in 2020. With the market volume of USD 15,430 million in 2020, most of the revenue is generated in the United States of America. Approximately 295,000 office chairs (3,500 tons) are reused in some form in the UK every year. This represents 14% of all office chairs reaching the end of their life each year. The remaining 86% are sent to recycling, energy recovery or landfill. The UK furniture manufacturing workforce accounts for 3.5% of the overall manufacturing workforce, an estimated 88,000 thousand employees. According to the British Furniture Confederation, furniture production contributes over USD 7.00 billion to the country’s GDP. It employs 71,000 people within 6205 companies. The UK furniture market is expected to grow at 4% in 2016 for the period 2017. While the excess production capacity in the industry has mostly been absorbed, the market remains very competitive for all suppliers and market value remains below the peak year of 2001. Recent growth in the market has been largely the result of large scale office development or refurbishment and has benefited the fit-out specialists and larger dealers. Business confidence has improved steadily as the economy has grown. The commercial new build sector is relatively buoyant, with new office construction increasing, remaining well below the levels reached in the past. The most significant growth has taken place in the City and Greater London, with evidence suggesting that regional centers are also increasingly attracting developers. However, forecasts for the next three years indicate a decline in the construction of offices due to uncertainty and pressure on space.

The UK office furniture market has split into two broad categories, the corporate sector serviced by UK and overseas branded suppliers, either directly to end users or via fit-out specialists and furniture dealers and the SOHO sector supplied mainly from China and other low cost producing countries via mail order, the Internet and retail outlets. A large proportion of home office furniture is supplied in flat pack form by specialist manufacturers and sold through outlets such as IKEA, Argos, Staples, and Tesco Direct. The home office has grown during the period but is no longer increasing its share of the overall market. The number of people working from home, either as self-employed or as employees, is likely to increase steadily in the medium term, as firms realize the benefits to be achieved from providing flexible working arrangements for their staff and this trend should continue to benefit the SOHO sector of the market. This sector is likely to continue to develop positively, with the choice offered by online suppliers and retailers increasing as more employees work from home, although wireless connectivity, laptops, and tablet usage is likely to impact on the demand for desks. In the medium term the UK office furniture market is expected to show slowing growth until 2019, with annual growth rates of 3-4 per cent from 2020 onwards. The office furniture market remains fiercely competitive, with a large number of suppliers still operating in the market, despite some high profile casualties in recent years, including Project, President, of quest, OEP and so on. The share of the market held by the leading six suppliers fell steadily from 42.00% in 1999 to 37.00% in 2003 and has remained around that level since then. Around 930,000 tons of furniture is placed on the market each year in England, of which the majority is household furniture



New Product entering the market

139,000 Tons

Current Disposal and Recycling

132,000 Tons

Current re-use

18,000 Tons



Re- Use Pathways for Furniture

Office Furniture



Online Exchange


Commercial second hand shops


Other commercial re-use channels


Car boot sales


Informal Giving


Combined Re-Use


Office Furniture Wastage



Wastage Tonnage

Potential Reuse Tonnage

Office Chairs




Desks and Pedestals




Other Office Furniture




Total Office Furniture





United Kingdom Office Furniture Market Segmentation

By Product Type

  • Seating
  • Desks /Workspaces
  • Storage
  • Accessories
  • Tables

By Material Used

  • Wood
  • Metal
  • Plastic
  • Others (Glass, Leather and Steel)

By Price range

  • Mass Market Furniture
  • Premium /Luxury Furniture

By Consumer Segment

  • Commercial Office
  • Home Office

By Distribution Channel

  • Online Distribution Channel
  • Offline Distribution Channel

United Kingdom Office Furniture Market Dynamics

United Kingdom Office Furniture: Growth Drivers

Demand for Office furniture is influenced by a number of factors, including the economic climate (particularly, the construction sector), demographic changes, international trends and the media.

  • Economic performance has slowed since 2001, but consumer confidence has remained high as a result of low interest rates and high levels of employment;
  • Demographic changes, in line with the wider EU, include declining birth rates and growth in the middle age and older population bands. This affects types of housing and furniture required;
  • Construction Sector -The contribution of the construction sector to the performance of the furniture industry - including private housing, commercial and hospitality. Rise in offices, changing of old furniture and renovating them.

United Kingdom Office Furniture: Market Challenges

  • Investment in Contract Design: In the hospitality and leisure sector, refurbishments can now occur as often as every 5-8 years. This is particularly true of pubs and clubs requiring innovative designs from the contract sector. Investment in design is required to compete with the increasing influx of European imports on the contract market. Many manufacturers in Ireland and Northern Ireland do not consider design as a priority and are often unwilling to employ experienced designers and/or invest in design graduates with less experience.
  • Management Skills: Among the challenges to the industry is the development of strategic management skills within companies. Many companies are family based and can also be predominantly manufacturing/production orientated rather than market focused. There may sometimes be a reluctance to recruit the necessary management expertise across the business.
  • Competitiveness: High operating costs resulting from rising wages, utilities costs, and insurance and employer contributions are making many indigenous companies uncompetitive and reduce the capital companies have to invest in areas such as R&D, design, marketing and training

United Kingdom Office Furniture: Market Opportunities

  • Given the tightening grip of Asian producers around the high volume end of the market, achievement of these opportunities will depend on sustaining competitive advantage through quality, innovation, design, market positioning and responsiveness. In the short term, realizing these opportunities may require additional investment in capacity that is likely to squeeze margins. However, they may also be exploited through collaborative initiatives among suppliers If these adjustments can be made to the marketing strategy of the furniture industry, the potential exists to increase the value of the sector from its 2002 levels of USD 898 million (£565 million) to over 1,050 million (£670 million) in 2005, an increase of 18 per cent in 2-3 years. Export volumes in particular have the potential to grow from current levels which are equivalent to 24 per cent of output, to 30 per cent within the same timeframe, provided companies take seriously the challenge to modernize their sales and marketing strategies and get closer to their customer.

United Kingdom Office Furniture Market Segmentation Analysis

COMMERCIAL CONSTRUCTION- In Ireland, new construction in the office market has fallen in 2002-2003 but now it is expected that it will recover as speculative supply slows, therefore opening channels for investors to buy new and existing stock  The retail commercial market remains relatively buoyant, with continued interest from both national and international retailers developing new sites or refurbishing existing sites for retail outlets, for example Moore Street Mall in Dublin and the Fair green Centre in Carlow. In Northern Ireland, the office market is suffering from a lack of demand at present, with several new office developments lying vacant. In 2002, the Valuation & Lands Registry estimated that there was a 703,000m total office- stock in Belfast, a rise of 13 per cent on 1999. Some specialist projects, such as the new Northern Ireland Science Park and the development of the Titanic Quarter on Queen’s Island in Belfast, may present opportunities for office space and have a knock-on effect for contract furniture providers. The Northern Ireland retail environment remains strong, with some major new developments under construction or planned, such as the Spruce field Centre outside Lisburn or the recent announcement of the new development of Northern Ireland’s largest single retail, industrial and Commercial Park on a site of 100 acres near Ban Bridge, Co. Down. The redevelopment of Victoria Square in Belfast is also likely to offer some significant contract opportunities for the Office furniture industry.

Offices/commercial-The office/commercial sector is benefiting from improving business confidence. This sector is also experiencing a surge in demand from companies reactivating orders which had been postponed in 2001. The impact of technology and new mobile working practices is continuing to have an effect on the market, generating new opportunities for furniture suppliers. Mobile working is on the increase leading to relaxed constraints on desk size and shape. A buoyant SOHO (Small Office Home Office) sector and the growth in call centers have created opportunities for niche marketing. The desk sector was worth an estimated £585 million (931 million) in 2002. This sector consists of 3 sub-sectors, which include executive, systems and economy stand-alone desks. Seating is the second largest segment in the office furniture sector at £394 million (627 million). Adjustability and ergonomic features are an integral part of office seating and are key factors for continued growth in this segment. Adjustable office seating accounted for approximately two-thirds of the office seating sold in the UK in 2002. The storage segment is valued at £272 million (433 million) with a trend over recent years towards more aesthetically pleasing wood finishes. For shared storage, metal products remain the most popular due to their durability and lower cost. One of the primary drivers in the storage segment is the increased requirement for personal storage, partly due to increased employee mobility. This often requires a greater amount of flexibility and functionality in comparison to previous ranges of personal storage. The smallest segment of the office/commercial sector is screening, which achieved sales of £109 million (173 million) in 2002, reflecting the shift to more open plan offices. The office and commercial furniture market remains fiercely competitive, particularly due to a poor 2001, a start to 2002 and a large number of suppliers within the market.

Players Specific Data (Product Launch, International and Domestic Players Dominance, Sales Distribution)

Product Launch

Century Office launches a new ergonomic office mesh chair. Recent research has shown that sitting throughout the day can be tiresome and companies want to offer a comfortable environment to the employees. Also said, Companies try to provide the employees with a positive environment so that they can work comfortably. Century Offices have come up with innovative office furniture with posture and comfort at the forefront of the designs. The latest is the ergonomic chair with synchronous technology and a back tilt function which supports the user in line with the natural movements of the body. The chair balances the position of seating through the combination of tilted seat adjustment and tension control. These chairs are suited to the daily lifestyle of the person come with warranty. The black mesh design of the chair has deliberately been chosen to make the expectation ergonomic chair more comfortable, light weight and more confortable.

International and Domestic Players Dominance in Office Furniture Market

Trade with Europe continued to be the main source of export income (62.40%) and totaled an increase of 7.70% but this is much less than 2015. The Irish Republic accounts for 22.20% of all exports, increasing 8.3% to 0.28 billion.  Germany and France for 9.50% and 9.10% respectively.

The Irish Republic alone accounts for 22.20% of all exports, increasing 8.30% to £0.28 billion. Germany and France accounted for 9.50% and 9.10% respectively. Export performance on the other hand, albeit on a much smaller scale, has continued to improve, increasing by 5.60% from 2017 to 2018 to £1.25 billion, an additional £66.40 million – although a decline of 5.35% in 2019 is predicted, to £1.19 billion. After the EU, the USA is the most significant export market, accounting for 11.90% of the total. Exports to 7th place China slowed considerably, down 26.9% to £32.16 million from £44 million the previous year, with a further significant decline of up to 41% predicted for 2019

Trade Figures for Office furniture with sub –groups:

Sub –Group




UK manufacturing output












Home Market




Imports as a % of home market





Main export and Import Destinations for UK office furniture Market

Main Import origins of furniture into UK in 2008


Main Export Origins of furniture into UK in 2008




Irish Republic


































Czech Republic


Hong Kong


Hong Kong









Turnover %                                                       Stock Turnover %









Return on Sales %













Key Performance Indicators 2007

Office Furniture

Turnover %


Fixed Assets/Value Added%


Stock Turnover


Turnover per employee


Value added/ employee


Unit labor Costs


Return on sales%



Office Furniture: Sales Distribution Data

Relative average marketing spend of furniture manufacturing


% of marketing spend

Sales Force






Direct Mail/ Telephone






Yellow Pages







Furniture reuse in the UK is a well-established practice, facilitated principally through members of the Furniture Re-use Network (FRN), a national co-coordinating body for appliance reuse and recycling organizations. Another important reuse pathway is via commercial second-hand shops. Some office furniture is also likely to pass via free and paid exchanges, such as EBay or Free cycle, although numbers of items are more difficult to quantify. That 165,000-200,000 tons of office furniture are sold in the UK every year. The net sales suggest that 96,800 tons of office and shop furniture was consumed in the UK in 2010. In the trade data shows that although the UK made no metal office desks, we imported 962 tons of metal office desks, we exported 1,431 tons, with a net balance of -468 tons. In addition, ONS data also shows 123,500 tons of office and shop furniture were imported, more than net supply, with some implicit reexports. 21.00% of office furniture is assumed to be desks, 19,000 were employed in 940 enterprises in the office and shop furniture industry in 2009, a reduction from 22,000 in 1,075 enterprises in 2008.

Only 14.00% of office desks that reach the end of their life are reused.20% of reuse is displacement of a new item. In the case of office desks, ‘displacement of new’ assumes that the reused item will directly avoid the production of a typical office desk of equivalent weight. From this, it has been assumed that, by default and across all office furniture reuse pathways, on average 10.00% of re-sold items undergo refurbishment. 80.00% of reuse is displacement of an old item. This route assumes that a reused item will replace another reused item (e.g. another purchase from a second-hand shop), rather than a new item. In this case, no avoided production is allocated, to avoid the double-counting of such benefits.


Total UK Office Desks –GHG Emissions

Total UK Office Desks-Resource Depletion

Total UK Office Desks-Global Energy Demand

Reuse Pathway




Preparation for reuse Pathway




Disposal Pathway





Percentage of desks purchased in place of new items (%)














An ‘average’ chair is assumed to be the item replaced by reuse of office chairs. This is modeled as being made of plastic (polypropylene/nylon/polyester) (44%), steel (36%), aluminum, (11%), foam (6%) and other materials (ABS/PBT/rubber) (3%).Retail furniture sales were valued at 1,899 million (£1,194 million) on an all-island basis in 2002. The market has grown by over 42 per cent since 1999 when it was valued at 1,324 million (£832 million). All-island furniture output reached 898 million (£565 million) in 2002 at manufacturers’ prices, growing by 22 per cent since 1999.Furniture imports into Ireland have increased by 36 per cent since 1999. In Ireland, furniture exports have grown by 15 per cent in the same period since 1999. Information on exports from Northern Ireland is limited due to problems with the collection of inter-regional trade information within the UK. However, export data has been made available for 66 Invest Northern Ireland furniture client companies and collectively these companies have demonstrated a 57 per cent increase in export sales from 1999-2002.Employment in the sector has increased by 10 per cent from approximately 9,500 people in 1999 to approximately 10,500 in 2002.




$824.3 Million

Camellia PLC

$402.4 Million

JB Global Limited

$324.6 Million

Wren Kitchens Limited

$288.4 Million

The Sofa and Chair Company

$225.2 Million

Speedy Products Limited

$213 Million

Sofology Limited

$197.4 Million

Symphony Group PLC

$158 Million

Millbrook Group Limited


Cozy Bay Limited

$148 Million


Latest News in Office Furniture Market

Century Office has come up with the launch of new fabric chair. Century Office has launched a new collection to its portfolio by offering comfortable chairs for the employees of the companies. The company has a big name in the Office furniture industry the company creates new products for the comfort and posture. The latest is the awareness chair and it has a lot of ergonomic features even if you sit for long hours. The chair has been designed specially to offer a balance of constant back support with lot of noticeable comfort. The chair also offers friendly seating positions either by engaging the tilt lock function of the chair in order to acquire an ergonomic seating position or by adjusting the tension control which allows the balanced seating. It promotes blood circulation in the body and reduces muscle detoriation in those sitting for long hours.

Competitive Landscape of United Kingdom Office Furniture Market

The prominent players profiled in the report are

  • Urban Office,
  • Herman Miller,
  • Steelcase,
  • Human scale,
  • Kristalia
  • Knoll.
  • Advantia Business Solutions,
  • Bene,
  • Carleton Furniture Group,
  • DAMS Furniture,
  • EFG Office Furniture,
  • Flexi form Business Furniture,
  • GGI.
  • Office Furniture,
  • Haworth Inc.,
  • Imperial Office Furniture,
  • KI (UK),
  • Lee & Plump ton,
  • Mobili Office,
  • Neat Ideas,
  • Office Club,
  • Pledge Office Chairs Rackline,
  • SBFI,
  • Techo UK,
  • Verco Office Furniture,
  • Wallis Office Furniture,
  • XPD ,
  • ON&ON,
  • Dare Studio,
  • Architectural CGI,
  • Starver ton.
  • Case Furniture,
  • Bisley,
  • Morgan,
  • Hugh Miller Furniture,
  • Modus,
  • Helm,
  • Benchmark,
  • Splinter Designs,
  • Another Country,  
  • Noble Russell,
  • Inro Furniture,
  • Seora,
  • Driving Health Care Strategy,
  • Jdd Furniture,
  • Rigg,
  • Leyform,
  • Cris Sega Designs,
  • Atlas Contract Furniture,
  • The Senator Group,
  • ST JAMES Interiors,
  • Williams Ridout,
  • Silver lining,
  • Distinctive Chesterfields,
  • European Furniture Group,
  • Gopak,
  • Artichoke,
  • Meavo,
  • Top of Design Made in Africa
  • Green Oak Furniture.

For a full detailed overview, send here request for market report sample.

Our Report Covers:

  • The report includes Office Furniture Manufacturers, OEMs , Distributors & Brands Outlook (Market Competition & Regional Presence), Business Strategy & Financial Analysis of Major Players. Further, the study also covers the Industry Insights (Future Trends & Forecast Data), Online Retailing and End User Analysis (Sales from Different End Use Sectors)
  • Market Size (USD Billion), Market Share (%), CAGR (%), Y-O-Y Growth Rate (%) of United States Office Furniture Industry and further it bifurcated into States.
  • Sales Data of Office Furniture : By Each Product Type & Size, By End Users (B2B & B2C), By Brands, By Models, By Distribution Models, By Countries (Volume & Value), 2019-2035
  • Sales Outlook by Various Channels : By Channel Type (Stand-alone Stores, Flagship Stores, Brand Outlets, Multi-Brand Outlets, Specialty Outlets, Hypermarkets, Online Channels, etc.)
  • Manufacturing/Production of Office Furniture : By Manufacturers Type (OEMs, OBMs & ODMs), Production Data (By Machinery Type, By Countries), Manufacturing Capacity, Operational Margins, Distribution Analysis, etc.
  • Market Dynamics : Growth Drivers, Challenges, Opportunities, Trends, SWOT Analysis, PESTLE Analysis, Pricing Patterns
  • Trade Data (Export & Import) : By Each Product Type & By Demand, 2019-2035
  • Supply & Demand Analysis, 2019-2035
  • Target & Potential Markets, By Major Countries
  • United Kingdom Smart Office Furniture Industry Outlook : Current & Future Outlook, 2019-2035
  • United Kingdom Office Furniture Industry Analysis (Manufacturers, Brands, New Products, Product Mapping, Investments, Pricing Pattern, Business Models, Annual Spending, Sales Channels Outlook, etc.)
  • The study provides an in-depth analysis with current and future trends to elucidate the imminent investment pockets in the market.
  • Current and future trends are outlined to determine the overall attractiveness of the market and single out profitable trends to gain a stronger foothold in the market.
  • Quantitative analysis of the current market and forecast from 2019-2035 is provided to showcase the financial competency of the market.
  • Drivers and opportunities are evaluated to highlight the top factors responsible for market growth. Various segments are carefully evaluated to gauge the potential of the market.
  • Porter’s Five Forces Model and SWOT analysis of the industry illustrate the potency of the buyers & suppliers participating in the market.
  • Competitive Outlook of major players of the United Kingdom market as well as local market to understand the current business scenario and to understand the complexity and investment related factors.

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United Kingdom (U.K) Office Furniture Market Outlook 2019-2035 : Market Size, Trends, Growth, Opportunities | COVID-19 Impact Analysis

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