How will predicted demographic changes affect the bathroom industry?

Demographics form part of many projects undertaken by Research by Design. At first glance you’d be forgiven for thinking they were irrelevant to bathroom sales, but when you stop to consider some interesting facts you can see why our clients need to know more…

Ageing population

According to the Office for National Statistics (ONS), the UK’s overall population is set to reach 73 million people by 2037, with the number of people aged 80 and over set to double to over 6 million. 

Rise in class

The past few years have seen a steady increase in the number of adults classified as belonging to the A, B and C1 socio-economic groups and this rise is predicted to continue. This has resulted in a shift of focus from traditional ‘blue collar’ jobs to those in the ‘knowledge professions.’

Boomerang generation

Low wages, unemployment, high rents and stringent mortgage controls mean that a significant proportion of young adults are living at home with their parents well into their thirties. ONS figures reveal that the number of young adults (aged 20-34) living with their parents has increased by one quarter since 1996, despite the proportion of the population in this group remaining largely static.


What does this mean for the bathroom industry?

It’s critical that brands in the bathroom sector understand their target market and the potential for this to change and evolve into the future.

An ageing population points towards ensuring that bathroom products are fit for purpose across an ever-widening life expectancy, and marketing should be targeted appropriately to these demographics. 

The rise in the ABC1 social grades suggests an increase in consumer spending power, although this should be caveated by the modified purchasing behaviour of many consumers since 2008’s recession. 

The increase in young adults living at home could lead to an increase in demand for small, more compact bathrooms, as homeowners seek to maximise space and increase their number of bathrooms.

Research by Design works with a number of brands in the bathroom sector undertaking diverse research studies with a wide range of stakeholders.

by Richard Mace, Associate Director


This entry was tagged Bathrooms and posted on March 9, 2015

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