1.1 Introduction and definition
The bedding market includes all the classic sleeping elements such as mattresses, bed bases (or box springs), pillows and bed linen. Within the furniture market, this sub-segment also includes beds for hospitals and nursing homes, hotels, and public administrations (prisons, barracks, etc.).
Historically, the supply of bedding has been dominated by large furniture groups, however the market is experiencing growing competition from the arrival of young specialized players with new technologies and new sales methods. For example, "bed-in-box" products have made it possible to shift away from expensive hard-cover brands.
The industry's weak revenue growth and pressure on prices are forcing players to innovate their products and distribution methods in order to meet consumers' increasingly high expectations of product quality, design, and comfort.
Finally, in Belgium mattresses and bed bases are produced in Belgium, however bed linen is mainly imported for cost reasons.
1.2 The global market by segment
According to GlobalNewsWire, the global mattress market was valued at €**.** billion in ****. It is expected to reach €**.** billion in ****, which represents an average annual growth rate of *.*%. Behind this growth are so-called queen-size mattresses (***) which accounted for **.*% of sales in ****.
This figure is highly dependant on the demand from ...
1.3 Slow growth in the Belgian market
Since ****, there has been a gradual increase in turnover in the mattress and bed base manufacturing segment in Belgium. However, the market is only returning to the **** levels (***), which had suddenly fallen until ****.
The bed linen segment is interwoven with the broader household linen segment, which has seen a marginal ...
1.4 Belgian consumption derives from imports
A large part of the production of bedding articles is relocated for cost-saving reasons, often outside of Europe. Data provided by UN Comtrade shows that Belgium imported $*** million worth of bedding in ****. [***].
Moreover, Europe accounts for about */* of these imports, with the Netherlands as the leading import partner. However, the ...
2.1 Four distinct types of clients
In this section, the source of demand for bedding products will be segmented into four distinct types of customers:
Households, or individuals, within the home furnishings market
Hygiene recommendations indicate a mattress change every ** years, i.e. every **,*** hours of sleep. [***]. Belgians change their mattresses every ** years on average, which is ...
2.2 Consumer expectations focused on quality
EBIA, the European Bedding Industry Association, represents the interests of the national federations of major European bedding manufacturers and suppliers [***].
In ****, a consumer survey carried out by this association reveals the main expectations of consumers when buying mattresses. Below, these priorities are listed in order based on perceived relevance:- Good ...
2.3 Changing consumer habits
There are factors that affect both the demand for mattresses and the type of mattress required.
Population growth is the main factor affecting the bed market in Belgium which follows the reasoning that more people means more beds.
Belgium's population is growing, but at a slow pace, like the rest ...
2.4 Trends with possibilities to disrupt the market
Studies on the importance of sleep quality and awareness of these subjects have led the Belgians to look for higher quality mattresses.
This research leads to an increase in the rate of mattress renewal, but also to a higher quality of the mattresses and box springs used. This partly explains the ...
3.1 Production concentrated amongst few actors
The manufacturing of mattresses and bed bases is concentrated amongst a limited number of players, due to the substantial investment required to be competitive.
As is evident from the graph above, there has been a gradual decline in the number of firms in the mattress and bed base sector in ...
3.2 Imports weigh on consumption
The production of mattresses and bed boxes in Belgium has increased overall in the last ** years, up from **** in **** to **** in ****.
For example, with the data from UN Comtrade, we can see that **% of bedding imports are mattresses and box springs. This figure is in line with the proportion of ...
3.3 Internet's penetration among distribution channels
The distribution of bed bases and mattresses today remains largely physical, shared between different actors listed below:
Large-scale distribution (***) Bedding specialists (***) Traditional furniture Internet sales (***) Others
Moreover, the rise of the Internet, which now accounts for around **% of sales, was partly due to the democratisation of foam mattresses, which are easy ...
4.2 Types of linen items
There are multiple items of bed linen, classified in two major categories below:
Bedding items o Pillows o Duvets/blanketso Bed protectors (***) Bed linen: o Duvet coverso Pillowcaseso Sheets
While most of these items are standardized, there are some differences, aimed at meeting different customer expectations and preferences. These differences are ...
4.3 Price Benchmarking
Large price differences exist within each product category due to variations in quality, materials, brands, etc. Boxspring beds (***), for example, are more expensive than average.
There are very strong disparities within a brand, due to differences in product size (***). Promotions also make prices difficult for customers to read, which benefits ...
4.4 Niches with a high replacement rate
In niche mattress areas, mattresses are changed much more frequently than in private homes. [***] Below follows a breakdown for different consumers:
Hospitals have around **,*** beds, and purchase close to **,*** mattresses per year. In ****, it was estimated that Belgium bought **,*** mattresses for nursing homes, for a total of ***,*** beds. For the **,*** prisoners ...
5.1 Regulation Nomenclature and a Harmonized System of World Customs
The Harmonized System is an international nomenclature for the classification of products. It allows participating countries to classify goods traded on a common basis for customs purposes. At the international level, the Harmonized System (***) for the classification of goods is a six-digit code system. [***]
The HS includes approximately *,*** items/product descriptions ...
5.2 Regulated manufacturing
In order to ensure safety in the use of bedding, certain standards are in force [***]:
Regulation (***) No ****/**** of the European Parliament and of the Council of ** September **** on textile fibre names and corresponding labelling and marking of textile products as regards their fibre composition. In particular, this legislative framework lays down ...
5.3 Future regulation to strengthen
Regulatory developments are underway, in relation to beds for children, for example. The aim is to improve safety, with progress being made in the field of childcare in particular.
Labels, whether for origin, quality, respect for human rights or the environment, are becoming increasingly important for the wooden and fabric parts ...
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