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Bathroom manufacturers should pay attention to the development of high-end products

Posted on April 01 2022

According to the customs import and export data, from January to December 2020, the total import and export of sanitary products was US $16.055 billion, a year-on-year increase of 12.31%. Among them, the total export volume was US $15.336 billion, a year-on-year increase of 12.86%; Total imports amounted to US $7.192 billion, a year-on-year increase of 1.83%.

Although the export of sanitary ware is rising, the sanitary ware industry itself does not seem to have much joy.

Low end surplus and high end shortage

The reporter also learned in the interview that at present, the development of sanitary products in China seems to have entered a "strange circle". On the one hand, the export is growing, and on the other hand, the overall industry has a surplus of low-end products and a shortage of high-end products.

"The sanitary ware industry is not easy to do. Now some of my friends have switched to lighting. The cost of labor and raw materials only rise but not fall. As an enterprise, it faces multiple difficulties, fierce competition, excess low-end products and low corporate profits." the person in charge surnamed Li of a sanitary ware manufacturer in Guangzhou told the China national economic news on the phone.

The person in charge also told reporters that the domestic high-end sanitary ware is insufficient, coupled with the price problem, now some people in China like to buy abroad, and now some sanitary ware manufacturers also introduce high-end products from overseas. Data from the Customs show that the annual import of sanitary products in China is about 50 billion yuan.

Lu Le, a researcher at the Institute of premium finance, said in an interview with China national economic news that the high-end market of bathroom products is monopolized by foreign brands. Due to years of development accumulation, many foreign brands are in an absolute monopoly position in the high-end market with their financial strength and brand popularity, while domestic brands are mainly concentrated in the middle and low-end market with low profit margin.

Through the analysis of the above insiders, it is enough to prove that the current situation of excess low-end and insufficient high-end products in China's sanitary product market exists objectively.

Lu Le told reporters that after more than 20 years of rapid development, China's sanitary ware industry has increasingly improved its industrial chain, but there are gaps in software and hardware construction, such as lagging design, product homogenization, lack of industry cooperation, extensive management and large randomness of cultural introduction, which makes the overall construction of domestic sanitary ware factories backward and controlled by others.

It is worth mentioning that in addition to "surplus at the low end and insufficient at the high end", the concentration of the whole sanitary industry is also low.

The reporter learned in the interview that there are countless sanitary ware manufacturers in China, mostly small and medium-sized enterprises. Some data show that at present, the number of large domestic enterprises is less than 100, and the market share of leading enterprises is less than 10%.

It can be seen that at present, the concentration of sanitary ware industry is low and the market is highly dispersed, so the industry concentration needs to be further improved.

"Of course, we should also see that China's sanitary ware industry started late, but developed rapidly. Relying on the advantages of population scale, China has become the world's largest producer and consumer of sanitary ware products in just over 20 years." Luo Gaozhan, general manager of sigelo Investment Development Co., Ltd., said in an interview with China national economic news.

New pattern of "big at both ends and small in the middle"

Under the new economic normal, China's bathroom brand industry is facing the huge pressure of insufficient market demand. How to get rid of the dilemma has been perplexing people in the industry.

Some industry observers believe that at present, China's bathroom industry is facing many difficulties: on the one hand, many new bathroom products are often directly imitated and copied by many small and medium-sized bathroom manufacturers once launched, so the homogenization of bathroom products is serious. On the other hand, small and medium-sized manufacturers occupy most of the whole sanitary ware industry. Objectively, they lack strong financial strength as backing. Therefore, this "shortage of funds" makes it difficult for them to face market competition.

In addition, for the sanitary industry, there is a large gap and demand for front-line production workers, internal service and grass-roots business personnel. This "recruitment shortage" also restricts the long-term development of the bathroom industry.

Lu Le believes that under the new economic normal, the market demand of the sanitary ware industry will continue to decline, and the national requirements for environmental protection and safety of sanitary products will be further improved, which will put forward higher requirements for sanitary ware manufacturers.

"In the face of these problems, the sanitary ware industry will face a reshuffle, some production enterprises will be forced to withdraw from this market, and the industry concentration will be further improved," Lu Le further said.

At present, under the new normal of China's economy, sanitary ware manufacturers are also facing some tests more or less. For example, raw material costs and labor costs are rising. Coupled with the weakening of consumption power, its demand also decreased.

Luo Gaozhan told reporters that in this case, there will be a new game and balance in the industry competition pattern. Enterprises with large scale and obvious competitive advantage will get a good opportunity for merger and reorganization.

It is worth mentioning that in the current fierce market competition environment, except for a few enterprises with strong financial strength, most small and medium-sized sanitary ware manufacturers may struggle in the lack of funds and recruitment difficulties.

Some media said that in fact, since the end of last year, the bathroom industry has begun to shuffle. Some sanitary ware manufacturers have fallen in the competitive market, while others are also accepting the "baptism" of the industry by virtue of their respective advantages.

So after the "baptism of elimination", what pattern will the bathroom industry present in the future? In this regard, Lu Le believes that China's bathroom industry will present a market pattern of "small at both ends and large in the middle" in the future.

"With the continuous improvement of China's residents' income level, the middle class is growing day by day, and has gradually developed into the main consumers of medium and high-end products. Therefore, the past model of bathroom manufacturers simply relying on price competition to seize market share will be unsustainable, the share of the industry's low-end market will gradually shrink, and the demand of the middle-end market will increase significantly." Lu Le introduced.

The reporter learned in the interview that at present, China has become the largest producer and consumer of sanitary products. According to public data, China's production and sales of sanitary ware account for about 30% of the world's total, and sanitary accessories account for about 35% of the world's total. In 2013, the scale of domestic sanitary ware market has exceeded 100 billion yuan. It is expected that the average annual growth rate of the industry will remain at about 15% - 20% in the next few years. It is predicted that the scale of China's sanitary ware market will reach more than 180 billion yuan by 2015.

Lu Le stressed that with the continuous decline of China's macroeconomic growth and the gradual disappearance of the demographic dividend, the real estate industry bid farewell to the high growth in the past. As the downstream of the real estate industry, the new and alternative market demand of the sanitary industry will gradually slow down, and the integration within the industry will inevitably intensify.

Based on high-end to intelligent development

After industry integration, in the new pattern, what trend will it develop forward? Luo Gaozhan said that the share of state-owned brands in the high-end market will gradually rise. At present, the country and manufacturers are aware of the importance of innovation and intelligent manufacturing to the country and enterprises. With the strength of the country, the improvement of product quality and the expansion of brand influence, Chinese sanitary ware manufacturers will gradually gain a foothold in the high-end market.

"Referring to the development history of foreign sanitary ware manufacturers, we believe that domestic sanitary ware manufacturers will also actively build their own brands, not just sanitary ware labeling. Some brands have embarked on the road of brand operation, and the market influence and sales volume have increased rapidly with remarkable results," Lu Le told reporters.

Lu Le said that bathroom products will also develop in the direction of diversification. With the improvement of residents' consumption level, consumption upgrading has become an inevitable trend. In the future, bathroom products will not only have health and cleaning functions, but also have many functions such as health care, appreciation and entertainment. In recent years, sanitary ware has launched a series of supporting products with leisure bathtub, cabinet basin, steam room and other functions, which is the best proof.

Luo Gaozhan also said that the future of sanitary ware is linked with intelligent home. In the future, the scientific and technological content of products will be improved, and sanitary products will usher in a process of upgrading.

Finally, Luo Gaozhan said that bathroom manufacturers will move to the second and third tier villages in the future. Under the background that the basic consumption needs of urban residents have been met, many sanitary ware manufacturers have shifted their strategic focus to the second and third tier villages, as well as foreign brands. At the same time, the industrial chain is about to be integrated. Bathroom products and construction are integrated, with three materials and seven construction. In order to provide more convenient services to consumers, the integration of the industrial chain is essential.