28 May 2024, 12:22
By Furniture News Jul 31, 2019

British bed suppliers report tough start to 2019

The latest results from the National Bed Federation’s (NBF) State of Trade report are in for the first quarter of 2019 – and reveal a tough start to the year.

The report shows that estimated LFL sales revenue fell by over -5% to just over £224m compared to the same period in 2018, and business optimism was 11 percentage points lower.

“The sales data from our members show that it is tough at the moment – and this doesn’t come as a surprise,” says Jessica Alexander, executive director of the NBF. “Optimism is low – in fact, optimism has fallen by a whopping 18 percentage points since Q3 of 2018, when it peaked at 33%.

“On the plus side, it has remained stable at 15% for the last two reports, covering the periods October-December 2018 and January-March 2019.”

Estimated unit sales in Q1 2019 also declined on a LFL basis, down by -3.5% to £1.86m. Other findings included a +3% increase in those reporting a more significant rise (more than 5%) in costs.

Jessica adds: “It was interesting to see from the data that one of the main factors likely to limit output over the next three months is going to be a shortage of skilled labour. One in five companies – 19% – listed it as problem compared with just 6% in the last quarter of 2018.”

The NBF Sales Tracker and Barometer of Trade report is available in full to its members via the protected members’-only area of its website.

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