Monday, October 31, 2016

Budget sector to drive growth in the UK Health & Fitness market

The health and fitness industry in general has performed well over the past 5 years, experiencing steady growth of around 2-3% per annum, and benefiting from an increased awareness of fitness as an essential component of a healthy lifestyle. AMA’s new report focuses on developments in health clubs and fitness equipment to assess the sector from both viewpoints.

The UK health and fitness club market continued its steady expansion throughout 2015 with a significant increase in the number of fitness facilities - performance was primarily driven by the low cost sector with the key operators progressing with significant development programmes. As competition in the low cost sector has increased, larger operators have often taken multiple gyms in urban areas to secure their customer base, and fee structures among many health club chains have been adapted to align with budget club operators. Additional services that most gyms are now providing for their members include specific exercise classes, as well as personalised advice on nutrition and diet. The higher end of the market, which incorporates country club and spa facilities, has also proven to be resilient.

The UK fitness equipment sector is expected to reach a value of over £400m by the end of 2016. Sales of fitness and exercise equipment have risen in line with the improving state of the UK economy, which has led to higher spending by both consumers and operators of commercial gyms, such as hotels and leisure management contractors. Recent growth has also been driven by the booming low-cost/budget gym sector, and the corresponding increase in demand for fitness equipment. This trend is expected to continue in the short-term, and should support increased demand over the next few years.
Innovation is key to growth within both the home and commercial fitness equipment markets, and demand is highly susceptible to new trends and ‘fitness crazes’. Recent examples of trends driving the market include HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training), Zumba classes and use of Vibration Plate equipment. More recently, there have been moves towards equipment that can replicate the feeling and sensation of exercising outdoors, as well as products geared towards training in groups. New digital-based equipment offering tracking and analytics features, that may in some cases be synchronized with consumers’ own devices such as smartphones, tablets and sport wearables via apps, are also growing.
The fitness equipment sector is relatively mature, with many well-established leading suppliers. As a result, the market features a number of well-known brands, although in recent years the growth of lower-cost imports has eroded their position.
“The outlook for both of these markets is good, with modest growth forecast in the medium term, driven by ongoing refurbishment programmes and expansion in the budget sector” said Andrew Hartley, Director of AMA Research. The health club market is expected to remain in a state of flux as low-cost health clubs continue to gain market share from established medium segment health clubs, leading to lower revenue fees across the industry, while the outlook for the commercial fitness equipment market in the short to medium term is for growth of 1-2% per annum.”
Although the current expansion and investment programmes pursued by many leading health and fitness club operators suggests demand for equipment will rise, a number of towns and cities are saturated in terms of health and fitness establishments and significant growth is unlikely. The future direction of the commercial fitness equipment market is also likely to depend upon how well low-cost and budget gyms continue to develop their presence. At present, this sector accounts for just 5% of the UK’s total number of gyms and health clubs, so there is scope for growth - especially if the economic situation deteriorates as a result of the Brexit vote and consumers reign in spending on non-essentials.
The outlook for the home fitness equipment is also for moderate growth over the next couple of years, although demand may experience a decrease towards the end of the decade. Reasons for this are likely to include continued growth in the low-cost/budget gyms sector, as well as the fact that a significant proportion of the population are unlikely to have the space to fit larger equipment such as treadmills into their properties. Market prospects may also be hindered by the fact that more people appear to favour exercise as part of a social gathering and the popularity of outdoor forms of exercise and the growth of running and cycling clubs. By 2020, the market value is expected to reach £420m, representing an increase of around 6% from 2015 levels, and equates to around 1.2% growth per annum on average.
The ‘Health & Fitness Market Report – Focus on Clubs and Equipment - UK 2016-2020 Analysis’ report is published by AMA Research, a leading provider of market research and consultancy services within the construction and home improvement markets. The report is available now and can be ordered online at or by calling 01242 235724.

Friday, October 21, 2016

7% growth per annum expected in the UK Bi-fold doors market despite Brexit fears

In 2015, the UK market for bi-fold doors was estimated to have grown by 12%, according to a new report by AMA Research, with similar growth expected for 2016. Rising from a low installed base, bi-fold demand has increased sharply in recent years driven strongly by significant growth in the home improvement market – both new extensions and replacement -and changing tastes in favour of opening up the home and garden area.
The bi-fold doors market is a relatively new and expanding sector, worth over £70m at manufacturers prices – and much higher in terms of installed value.
As indicated above, a key driver of market growth has been consumer interest in bi-folds – with the residential market accounting for over 50% of sales - while suppliers themselves have contributed to the growth of the market through new developments in frame materials, styles, colours and features. In terms of product mix, exterior bi-folds dominate the sector by both volume and value due to residential use – although commercial interior bi-fold doors account for a significant share of the market.
AMA’s report assesses the market by frame material and, while aluminium is the dominant frame material, timber accounts for around 20% of the market. Overall, the trend for maximising natural light has resulted in increased glazing used for entrance and patio doors and internal doors. Home extensions are a key market – with around 200,000 extensions per annum offering good market prospects for manufacturers and installers alike with bi-folds popular where homeowners are extending kitchens/living areas and want a more open link to the outdoors.
In the commercial office sector, bi-folds have increased in use as interior doors which offer natural light, but offer flexibility by enabling rooms to be expanded or contracted easily. They are also popular for car showrooms and similar businesses allowing easier movement of vehicles and products. Bi-folds have also been in use for many years in the leisure sector as exterior doors for restaurants and bistros, and internal space dividers in the health & fitness sector. Within the leisure sector, replacements feature importantly as older style bi-folds are changed for newer styles and frame materials and more easily operating features.
“The supply structure remains complex and fragmented, but increasingly competitive, as many window and door companies now offer bi-fold doors” said Andrew Hartley, Director of AMA Research. “A number of companies that originally focused on single materials – eg. aluminium, PVCu or timber – have extended product ranges to include alternative material products in order to widen channel exposure. Bi-fold doors have also seen wider distribution generally in recent years, particularly through retail DIY/home improvement multiples and online.”
Current AMA forecasts indicate steady to good growth into the medium-term with the bi-fold doors market growing by around 7% per annum to 2020. Factors likely to have a positive impact on volume and value growth include housebuilding completions, the house moving market, trend for higher value replacements and steady levels of home improvement projects. Bi-fold doors are likely to remain a key product sector for retail window and door companies with second/third time replacements likely to impact on the market in future years.
The impact of Brexit on the residential newbuild and RMI sectors remains extremely difficult to forecast and implications are likely to become clearer as the UK eventually begins the process of negotiation. However, as a minimum, the uncertainty created by the situation may cause the market to become more volatile and may lead to reduced levels of spending on home improvements – though the appeal of bi-fold doors looks looks set to underpin demand going forward.

The ‘Bi-fold Doors Market Report – UK 2016-2020 Analysis’ report is published by AMA Research, a leading provider of market research and consultancy services within the construction and home improvement markets. The report is available now and can be ordered online at or by calling 01242 235724.

Friday, October 07, 2016

Higher Education and Student Accommodation Construction - UK 2016-2020 - Key Facts

  • The total value of the UK student accommodation sector is estimated to be around £25bn.
  • Current forecasts are for a substantial increase in capital investment over the coming years. At over £17.1bn, this is around 60% higher than the previous 4-year average.
  • In 2013 the private sector formed around 39% of supply, but in 2016 this has increased to over 46%.
  • Only 18% of students are currently catered for in university-operated halls, with overseas student numbers forecast to rise to 870,000 by 2020.
  • Previously, growth in the private sector was driven by large players (UNITE, UPP and Liberty Living), but new growth is coming from new companies such as Pure Student Living, Urbanest and the Student Housing Company.

These facts have been extracted from AMA Research's report 'Higher Education and Student Accommodation Construction Sector Report - UK 2016-2020 Analysis', available from or by calling 01242 235724.

Thursday, October 06, 2016

Door and Window Fabricators - UK 2016-2020 - Key Facts

  • The market for door and window fabricators is estimated to have grown by 9% since 2013, with an estimated value of £2.1bn at trade prices in 2015. 
  • Residential windows are the largest sector, accounting for around 35% of the market.
  • Commercial windows and curtain walling account for around 25% of the market and have experienced some recovery in recent years.
  • Bifold doors are a major growth area in the last 3 years.
  • While PVCu dominates the domestic window market, composites have gained significant share in the residential door market – now accounting for around 30% of the market.

These facts have been extracted from AMA Research's report 'Door and Window Fabricators Market Report - UK 2016-2020 Analysis', available from or by calling 01242 235724.