Summary of our market study

The French market for sanitary, heating and gas plumbing fittings is estimated at €3.5 billion.

Since 2020, the global fittings market has experienced fluctuations, with a notable contraction in 2020 due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on construction, followed by an upturn once the pandemic was over.

European production is dominated by Germany and Italy, while France has a more modest production capacity. China, the United States and Italy lead the way in exports.

Trends in the French fittings market

In France, the number of housing construction sites rose until 2022, and has since fallen. This decline accelerated in 2024. Sales of older homes and renovation activity followed a similar trend.

Demand for sanitary, heating and plumbing fittings is influenced by general trends in the housing, construction and real estate sectors.

Imports of sanitary fittings rose slightly, particularly from China.

The sanitaryware sector is significantly boosted by the installation of over a million complete kitchens and countless bathrooms every year.

The number of plumbing companies and employees in the sector increased from 2016 to 2022.

Regulations demand strict compliance with health and safety standards, with certifications such as Attestation de Conformité Sanitaire (ACS) and NF being critical for market players.

Regulations also play an important role in shaping market demand. Sanitary equipment must have the Attestation de Conformité Sanitaire (ACS), while control valves for gas appliances are subject to a series of rigorous standards and positioning rules. Compliance with these regulatory frameworks guarantees market stability and consumer safety

Distribution goes through several channels: distributors and wholesalers, DIY superstores, construction companies and end consumers. Sanitary, heating and plumbing specialists play a strategic role, acting as intermediaries in the fittings sector.

Sector players

  • Comap, manufacturer of heating accessories
  • Hansgrohe Wasselonne, renowned German generalist manufacturer
  • Huot is renowned for its plumbing fittings.
  • Cedeo, Point P, Brico Dépôt, Bricoman, Descours et Cabaud, distributors for professionals
  • Leroy Merlin, Castorama, Bricolex, Mr Bricolage, distributors for private customers
  • Hervé Thermique, heating systems installer
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Summary and extracts

1 Market overview

1.1 Definition and scope of study

Between rising prices and fierce international competition, France saw its imports of sanitary fittings rise by 1.9% this year, and China established itself as a key player in the building fittings market, defined as all installations that modify the flow of fluids in a piping system.

The study focuses primarily on the market for the manufacture of building fittings (sanitary, heating and gas-plumbing fittings), but also deals extensively with the themes related to itsit also deals extensively with issues relating to its B2B and B2C customers, which include sanitaryware/heatingware retailers, DIY and hardware superstores, and plumbing contractors. Each of these players faces its own challenges, and their skills are passed on to the entire value chain.

This is a concentrated market on a national scale, which is nevertheless heavily invested by powerful European and international exporters. On a French scale, it's a fairly established market, divided into numerous segments, each with its own leader and competitive ecosystem, with an abundance of distribution channels, but a supply network that faces many challenges.

Indeed, raw material supply difficulties, the tightening of the new and existing real estate market, and other more specific factors have caused the price index to jump by 20 points in 1 year, calling on this relatively immobile market to undergo change.

1.2 Global market

The global market for valves and fittings is characterized by concentrated competition. The majority of French players generate sales of around ten million euros, with only a handful of companies exceeding one hundred million euros, while established market leaders battle it out for the podium. Main export countries for sanitary fittings, ...

1.3 European market

Main export countries for sanitary fittings, radiators, taps, valves and gate or globe valves Europe, ****, in billions of $ Source: ****

Data for **** on Europe's leading exporters of sanitary fittings, for radiators, taps, valves and gate or globe valves, reveal a marked hierarchy in the sector.Germany dominates the market with exports amounting ...

1.4 Domestic market

Growth in the size of the national market for apartment faucets France, ****, € million Source: ****

The NAF code used here is the same as that previously used in UNComTrade statistics, code **.**, "Other valves and fittings" composed of "Valves, fittings and similar components for pipes, boilers, tanks, vats or similar containers", "Valves, fittings ...

1.5 French trade balance

French building valve exports World, ****, in $ billions Source: ****

Data in billions of dollars for the years **** to **** show a fluctuating balance between exports, imports, and the trade balance.

In ****, exports stood at $*.** billion, but fell slightly in **** to $*.*** billion. However, subsequent years saw an upward trend, peaking at $*.*** billion in ****, only ...

2 Demand analysis

2.1 Typology of demand

Four main types of customer and indirect customers. It's important to note that the importance of a customer type to a manufacturer depends on the segment in which it operates.

2.2 Growing demand in the plumbing market

The plumbing market has extremely low elasticity to most macroeconomic variations: in times of Covid-**, business never collapsed, and even stabilized, since everyone stayed at home, there were no variations in demand linked to vacation departures.

Trend in the size of the national plumbing installation and maintenance market France, ****, € million Source: ...

2.3 Focus on the maintenance-renovation market

While plumbing work in the construction industry seems highly challenged by current dynamics, themaintenance-renovation sector, the main source of income for plumbers, is going from strength to strength. This improvement is underpinned by government incentives to comply with the new energy and health standards in force, such as the increase in ...

2.4 Demand penalized by the slowdown in new and existing real estate

Demand for valves is under downward pressure. In fact, the construction and real estate markets are themselves trending downwards, which is having an impact on demand for faucets.

Trend in the number of housing construction sites France, ****, in units Source: ****

Data on trends in the number of housing construction sites in ...

2.5 The cyclical nature of consumer demand

Evolution of interest in "Plumbing" search France, ****-**** Source: ****

The popularity of the word "plumbing" has fluctuated over time. Initially high in January **** with a score of **, popularity has fluctuated but overall maintained a stable level, oscillating between ** and **. The emergence of demand cyclicality can be observed from the end of ...

3 Market structure

3.1 Value chain

3.2 Workforce and production processes

Number of companies and number of employees in the faucet manufacturing sector France, ****, in units Source: ****

Data for the French faucet manufacturing sector between **** and **** show a downward trend in both the number of companies and the number of employees. Between **** and ****, the number of companies in this sector declined steadily, ...

3.3 Sanitary and heatingware dealers

Breakdown of sales by sanitaryware/heatingware wholesalers France, ****, € billion Source: ****

The breakdown of sales by sanitaryware/heating equipment dealers in France shows overall growth in **** and ****. Heating and air conditioning, sanitaryware and plumbing and piping all recorded increases.

In ****, sales in heating and HVAC were *.*** billion euros, sanitaryware *.*** billion euros, and ...

3.4 In the face of retailers, the rise of faucets in DIY stores

The Plumbing-Bathroom-Kitchen segment, representing **% of the DIY market (***), underlines the growing competence of the DIY consumer. Bathroom sales are up +**%/+**%, as are plumbing sales, which are up +**%/+**%. These figures testify to a positive dynamic in the sector, with a notable acceleration in recent years. [***]

Unfortunately, this trend has come up against ...

4 Offer analysis

4.1 Offer typology

Source: ****

4.2 A supply driven by soaring raw material prices

French Tap Industry Producer Price Index for the French Market (***) France, ****, index base *** April **** Source: ****

A comparative study of production price indices for the French faucet and copper and brass foundry industries reveals significant trends impacting the building faucet market.

For valves, the production price index has risen steadily since ****, from ...

5 Regulations

5.1 Building valve regulations

Regulations governing sanitary fittings

Since ****, theAttestation de Conformité Sanitaire (***) has been mandatory in France for all equipment in contact with drinking water. It applies to equipment such as faucets and water treatment systems. Issued by the CARSO Group, this certification is the result of rigorous testing in a laboratory approved by ...

6 Positioning the players

6.1 Typology of players

  • Comap
  • Hansgrohe Wasselonne
  • Watts Industries France
  • Distribution Sanitaire Chauffage Saint-Gobain
  • Richardson
  • Téréva
  • Leroy Merlin France (Adeo)
  • Castorama France (Kingfisher)
  • Brico Dépôt
  • Hervé Thermique groupe
  • Proxiserve
  • MCI
  • Cedeo
  • Bricoman
  • Bricolex
  • ITM Equipement (Bricorama, Bricomarché, Brico Cash)
  • Mr. Bricolage
  • Descours et Cabaud
  • Huot

List of charts presented in this market study

  • Main exporting countries for sanitary fittings, radiators, taps, valves and gate or globe valves
  • Trends in the size of the global market for the manufacture of plumbing valves, fittings and pipes
  • Main exporting countries for sanitary fittings, radiators, taps, valves and gate or globe valves
  • Trends in the size of the national market for the manufacture of building fittings
  • Breakdown of sanitary fittings by volume sold
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Latest news

Why Bricomarché, Bricorama and Bricocash are opening up to franchising - 21/05/2024
  • - The number of existing Bricorama franchises: 34
  • - The year the Bricorama network was acquired: 2017
  • - Sales growth since 2018: 60%
  • - Market share in 2018: around 10%
  • - Current market share: around 15%
  • - Sales in 2023 for ITM Equipement de la maison: 3.4 billion euros
Castorama revises its formula in France to boost sales - 28/03/2024
  • - Castorama sales down 4.8%.
  • - Brico Dépôt sales down 7%.
  • - Total sales in France down by almost 6%.
  • - Strategies: modernization of stores, reduction of floor space by 30%, transition to franchising, and transfer to the Brico Dépôt banner.
  • - By 2024-2025, 13 units will be specifically affected (2 franchised, 1 will become Brico Dépôt, 7 relaunched, and 3 reduced in size).
  • - 15% of Castorama and Brico Dépôt sales are generated by major works (kitchens, bathrooms) linked to moves.
  • - Introduction of Screwfix in France, with 23 current stores, planned to reach 15 more by 2024 and 600 in the long term.
Mr.Bricolage expected to decline in 2023 - 14/03/2024
  • Mr.Bricolage group sales in 2023: 2.31 billion euros
  • In France, 902 stores generated sales of 1.96 billion euros in 2023
  • Number of stores by brand in 2023:
    • - Mr.Bricolage: 331 stores
    • - Les Briconautes: 101 stores
    • - Independent chains: 470 stores
  • Total number of stores at January 1, 2024: 1088 stores
Closure of five Bricorama stores - 14/11/2023
  • Takeover of Bricorama by ITM Equipement de la maison (Mousquetaires group) almost six years ago.
  • The targeted stores are located in Meaux (77), Colombes (92), Saint Germain-lès-Arpajon (91), Belfort (90) and Guilherand-Granges (07).
  • In 2018, when Bricorama was taken over, 170 stores were part of the transaction.
  • Six years later, only 106 Bricorama outlets remain.
  • In 2020, there were 131 Bricorama stores.
In the Doubs region, MCI Mobilier launches version 2 of its bed to protect against bedbugs - 27/10/2023
  • MCI Mobilier sold around a thousand of the first version of the "bed for bedbugs".
  • Bpifrance provided innovation aid of around €30,000 for the development of the new bed.
  • MCI Mobilier was created in 2016 and has 25 employees.
  • MCI Mobilier's sales are close to 4 million euros.
  • MCI Mobilier specializes in the design and manufacture of contract beds, kitchens and closets in wood, laminate and melamine.
Do-it-yourself bubble bursts, Leroy Merlin and Castorama tighten the screws - 15/10/2023

The health crisis had kept the French at home, and led to furniture purchases and building work.

For the first half of its financial year ending July 31, 2023, Kingfisher has announced a 3.8% drop in sales for Castorama, and even more for sister chain Brico Dépôt.

The Fédération des magasins de bricolage, the French federation of DIY stores, reported a small gain of 1.3% in value, a mini-progression which, with inflation, conceals a 3.5% year-on-year drop in volumes.

Kingfisher, which is developing its specialized Screwfix brand in France, and dedicated areas at Brico Dépôt

Companies quoted in this study

This study contains a complete overview of the companies in the market, with the latest figures and news for each company. :

Hansgrohe Wasselonne
Watts Industries France
Distribution Sanitaire Chauffage Saint-Gobain
Leroy Merlin France (Adeo)
Castorama France (Kingfisher)
Brico Dépôt
Hervé Thermique groupe

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