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EPLF: Market Research in Germany, France and Poland

11 January 2020

Hanover, 11 January 2020 — EPLF, the Association of European Producers of Laminate Flooring (Brussels) has just completed an extensive market research looking at end consumers (both private and professionals) behaviour when it comes to buying flooring. This research builds on the previous two editions released in 2005 and 2011. This edition also marks the start of a collaboration with MMFA, the Multilayer Modular Flooring Association. It was carried out in Germany, France and Poland with end consumers and architects. The results of the research are now available for members.

Manufacturers of laminate and MMF flooring can now draw from a wealth of first-hand information. In each of the three countries, 100 end-consumers who had recently purchased new flooring or were about to do so, as well as 20 architects and specifiers, were interviewed about their motives, evaluations and decision-making processes. Conducting this research for the third time, with the same methodology now equips the sector with interesting perspectives about long-term developments.

The targets were questioned not only about their opinion regarding LVT/MMF-floorings and laminates, but also about other flooring categories like stone, ceramic, parquet, carpets and resilient floorings. The survey looks into triggers for buying new flooring, information gathering and decision-making processes within the households, the different functional rooms with different demands, image categories, and so on. Compared to earlier research, the study reveals that online information gathering and online retail are becoming increasingly popular.

What actually triggers the desire to buy a new floor? Are there similarities or differences between German, French and Polish markets? The study reveals that in most cases, it is the replacement of a damaged or worn-out floor: With 72% of respondents in Germany saying it is the main factor (at 48%) or it is an important factor (at 24%). In France, the trigger is confirmed at 65% and in Poland at 51%. The trigger seems to be the same regardless of the product (with laminate at 64%, LVT at 63% and other at 64%). Other triggers in this ranking could be the desire to replace a floor one no longer likes, a complete redesign of an apartment/house or the construction/purchase of a new property.

The study also looked at who within the household had the original idea of buying a new floor, which is very important to tailor marketing, the results of the study are quite interesting in that they show that across all three countries, it is women in 33% of the cases, men in 17% and in 50% of the cases, it is a common idea. For laminate buyers, in 61% of the cases, the idea to change the flooring is common,followed by 32% women and 7% for men, interestingly it is exactly the opposite for LVT / MMF floors: 19% for women versus 24% for men - food for thought!

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