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Contract fitted furniture. An Ireland perspective

Published: November 2000

Topline Summary 

The Republic of Ireland market for contract fitted kitchen and bedroom furniture (excluding associated installation costs) is valued at almost IR£48 million/Stg£38.2 million a year. The market for contract fitted kitchens in Northern Ireland was worth around IR£983,400 / Stg£786,720 in 1999.

Typical spends on fitted kitchen furniture can range from IR£600 for flats/apartments, IR£1,000 for terraced houses, IR£1,500 for semi-detached houses, up to IR£4,000 for luxury apartments.

The fitted home furniture markets in the Republic and Northern Ireland are different. In the Republic it is a contract market, where the builder of a development selects a specialist firm to fit out the kitchen and bedroom furniture. In Northern Ireland, homebuyers select their own furniture.

Developers tend to use a small number of specialist kitchen manufacturers who have the capacity and resources to handle largescale installations.

The route to market for Irish firms is directly from the manufacturer to the builder. The builder usually has a budget for fitting out the kitchen and bedroom and contracts with a furniture supplier to fit out the entire development. 

Irish manufacturers who specialise in the contract market have established a strong reputation for competitiveness and service. When developers are satisfied with a supplier, they will continue to use that supplier unless there is a good reason to change.

Promotion by manufacturers involves sales representatives approaching building contractors directly in order to identify the decision-maker for a development. British-made flat-pack kitchens are a potential threat. The high growth rate of the new build market may attract British builders using their own kitchen furniture suppliers.

The Republic of Ireland market has reached a new level of housing construction in excess of 50,000 units in 1999, which is expected to continue for at least the next decade to 2010.There
will be more development outside the greater Dublin area.

In Northern Ireland, new house construction is 10,000 a year and this level is not likely to change. The contract market in Northern Ireland is about 15% of new housing starts.


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