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As stroller market shrinks, parents look for innovative solutions at reasonable prices

For the second year in a row, the European strollers market have decreased by -0,9% in 2019 as a recent study by Interconnection Consulting shows. Interconnection predicts that the market will loose on average -1,8% units per year until 2023, in part due to a strong decline in 2020 in part offset by an increase in 2021. Only in France and Northern Europe, the study recognized an increase in quantity sold, while the German and Spanish markets declined for the first time in the last 5 years and the UK market failed to rebound after a sluggish 2018.

 

Parents more sensitive to prices as competition intensifies

Average prices  failed to grow in 2019 for the first time since the 2010 crisis. Parents have become more sensitive to price differences in the high-end premium segment as competition to gain shares in this segment has increased in the last 3 years. The high-end segment (>1000) lost  shares again in 2019 in part due to the impact of second-hand market, while shares of strollers in the medium-range (250€-500€) have now reached 33,7% quantity shares.  The temporary fall in demand caused by the COVID-19 crisis is forcing producers to offer one-off sales in the first part of 2020. As a consequence, total turnover is expected to fall below 800 million Euros in the next 3 years.

Lighter, cabin-proofed stroller on the rise…  before and after COVID-19

The rise of ultra-light compact in the last few years has been astonishing and more companies are now offering this type of solution. Interconnection expects this segment to grow further in the long-term by taking shares from both compact and buggies, but the COVID19 crisis could reduce their  demand until  travel restrictions are lifted. “This crisis have been put a lot of pressure on the strollers industry in the first half of 2020 and has the potential to modify parents’ approach to mobility and their consumer preferences”.  Comfort is the product group with the largest share (42,8%) and overperformed in 2018, reflecting also the rising shares of multi-travel systems.

COVID19 favors the long-term rise of online sales

Growing trend for online sales set forth and this channel have now reached a market share of 25,8%. Their growth rate is expected to rise even stronger  in 2020, as the off-line channel has been heavily impacted by the current crisis in some countries were forced to restructure due to financial problems. Especially, sales through boutiques and mass market will keep declining in the next 3 years.  Market concentration have been decreasing in the last few years as some newcomers have gained shares and the trend has been confirmed in 2019 with the top 10 companies controlling now 35% of the total market. Three of the largest companies are Artsana, Britax and Dorel.

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Window Market in Western Europe in the Dark

Sales in the Western European window market will decrease by 9.8% in 2020 compared to the previous year. This fall in the industry due to the COVID 19 crisis is set to continue unabated in 2021. The market is not set to recover before 2022 at the earliest. However, even then, the pre-crisis level will not be reached again until later, according to a study by Interconnection Consulting.

Different Faces of the Crisis

The market volume in the markets examined is set to decrease from €19.0 billion to €17.9 billion until 2023. The region of Southern Europe (Italy, Spain, Portugal) was hit the hardest, and is expected to experience a drop in volume of 15.6% in 2020. Like in all other regions of Western Europe, the market will not recover until 2022. The average annual decline in sales on the window market in Southern Europe will be 3.7%, according to the study. The United Kingdom & Ireland are also in for a difficult time. Here, too, the decline in sales for 2020 will be in the double-digits. The crash is even set to accelerate in 2021. In addition to the pandemic crisis, economic uncertainty due to Brexit is also affecting the mood of investors. The France & Benelux market will be hit very significantly. While the decline for this year remains in the single-digit range, a sales decrease of 12.2% is expected in 2021. The recovery in 2022 will also be very moderate compared to the other regions. In the Nordic countries (Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Finland), a decline of 8.6% is expected for this year, with Sweden (-9.8%) and Finland (-9.5%) experiencing the largest drops. In the long-term, the study predicts Sweden will be hit hardest in the region, with an average decline of 2.5% annually until 2023. The DACH region (Germany, Switzerland, Austria) is set to recover from this crisis the fastest. The study predicts that the pre-crisis level can almost be reached again by 2023.

Renovation Sector as a Silver Lining on the Horizon

Residential construction is the larger category for window sales in Western Europe, representing two thirds of the market volume. The sharp decline in new construction (-3.6% annually until 2023) can be partially offset by the more important business catgegory: renovation, which holds a share of 69.1%, and will experience a smaller annual decrease of -1.9%. In France in particular, the share of this segment is expected to increase sharply in the next few years from 60.7% to 63.5% due to tax reliefs when replacing windows.

Wood-Aluminum Windows on the Rise

When it comes to frame materials, metal is the front runner with a turnover of €6.4 billion, followed by PVC at around €4.9 billion. The sales figures, however, tell a very different story. PVC has been able to expand its dominant position for many years and now has a market share of 42.7%, while the sales share of metal as a frame material has declined since 2010, hitting 26.3% in 2020. This also applies to wooden windows. As a combination, however, wood and aluminum are in demand. While the wood-aluminum market share was 7.9% in 2010, it is set to reach 11.4% in 2020.

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