The last couple of years have brought a welcome boost for the UK shopfitting market, according to a new report.
AMA Research says demand for shopfitting work had declined in recent years as the financial crisis impacted on retail sales and consumer spending. Greater emphasis was put on redecorating and giving stores a 'refresh', by changing interior fixtures such as lights, carpets and furniture and putting in new displays.
However, as consumer confidence and retail sales recovered in 2013 and 2014, retailers have responded by rolling out wider refurbishment programmes and upgrading existing sites.
AMA says the shopfitting market was worth an estimated £3bn at manufacturers' prices in 2014, an increase of 6% from the previous year.
The UK shopfitting market is highly fragmented and has seen considerable consolidation in recent years. The industry also continues to face a number of challenges as retail and leisure trends evolve at a rapid pace and retail companies constantly re-brand and innovate to maintain their competitiveness and respond to changing consumer behaviour.
The market is affected too by growth in online retail sales, with physical stores contributing less to overall retail sales.
AMA says the short- to medium-term opportunities for shopfitting contractors are likely to come from the value and discount retailers and the grocery convenience sector.