The kitchen today must be functional and friendly. It is mostly open on the living room. And it's far from being a detail. Make it presentable is one of the first criteria for renewal, without the usual trigger for the move. This explains the dynamism of this segment in a declining furniture market.
A market driven by innovation: kitchen designers have never stopped imagining new materials and amenities, appliance manufacturers new features for built-in products. All this creates a desire for renewal, less and less dependent on the real estate market. Especially since arranging its kitchen is now within everyone's reach: from 1000 euros in entry-level up to several tens of thousands of euros. A market that still has potential: Only 60% of households today have a fully equipped kitchen, compared to 85% of our European neighbors.
The furniture: market stall
Bathroom, garden, sofa or library, all other segments of the market are down. Even bedding, so far growing, also shows a slowdown over the last few months. After three consecutive years of growth, the global market saw its activity decline by 2.7% in value in 2018 to stabilize at 9.5 billion euros.
The main reason is the drop in the number of housing starts. They did not reach 400,000 units, down 7% from the 2017 fiscal year. One third of the furniture is bought within two years after a move.
Unlocking the ELP to revive the market
The furniture industry is calling on the government to authorize a temporary and partial release of the Housing Savings Plan for the purchase of new furniture. "A measure that could strengthen the purchasing power of the French without costing a penny to the state," says Jean-Charles Vogley. The PEL is, according to the secretary general of FNAEM, more and more a savings product with 275 billion euros in assets. Most holders of the 15 million ELPs in France already own their main residence.
The industry did its simulations. By allowing a partial release, capped at 10,000 euros and for a period of two years, the furniture industry would gain around 2 to 3% growth. A measure that was adopted in the Senate in 2015 under the previous government, before being rejected by the National Assembly.