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The south of Europe which had experienced the toughest restriction measures during spring had been harshly hit but its parquet markets have also significantly recovered during the summer, before slowing down a bit in September.

The main driver of the recovery is renovation, especially residential renovation as the consumers are investing in their homes. On the other hand, new projects and contract business are challenging.

The Board of Directors of FEP – the European Federation of the Parquet Industry – met virtually on 8 October 2020 and discussed, amongst others, the wood flooring situation and the continuous impacts of the Covid-19 crisis on the European markets.

Germany, the main European wood flooring market, which has not been hurt that much during spring, is currently experiencing very positive trends also boosted by renovation.

Unfortunately, the current upsurge of the pandemic and the new measures which are taken throughout Europe are creating some uncertainties for the future. Additionally, the economic longterm impacts of the crisis are still to come. Nevertheless, for the year 2020 as a whole, a stable consumption of wood flooring is forecast on the European markets compared to 2019.

Market overview

Austria The situation has started to improve in May. Renovation continues to be the wood flooring consumption driver and supports the recovery. However, for the whole year, a slight decline of the market compared to 2019 is forecast.

France After a restart of the consumption mid-May, the situation in France is now “neither bad, nor good”. The contract business is significantly decreasing, but the impacts of this decrease will only be visible in 2 years as for the time being existing contracts are completed. DIY is performing well.

Germany While the wood flooring market was subdued in April and May, the trends upturned during the summer and are now very positive in Germany and until the end of the year. New projects are decreasing but renovation is on an increasing path.

Italy Until August, the Italian market has recovered from the lock-down period, especially in the south of the country which has been less affected last spring. wood flooring consumption then slowed down in September but renovation is driving the market while contract business is lower. All the losses from spring will not be compensated but a stable result or a slight decrease only is expected for the year 2020 as a whole.

Nordic Cluster Nordic cluster wood flooring market has also been hit during spring. New buildings are down but renovation is strong, especially in Norway. In total, the market is improving.

Spain While the Spanish market was recovering from the spring lock-down during the summer, the new Covid-19 related measures taken now could hamper this recovery. Renovation is doing well while construction of new buildings is stopped. The long-term economic impacts of the pandemic and the related public expenses are still to come. All in all, a slightly decreasing or a flat wood flooring market is expected for the year 2020 as a whole.

Sweden Sweden has been an “island” these last months. The wood flooring market is a bit down, with less investments, but this is due to structural changes and not a consequence of the pandemic. On the one hand, commercial and hospitality businesses are really challenging. On the other hand, renovation represents a strong market as people are investing in their homes (offices). No significant evolution of the situation is expected by the end of the year but the 4th quarter should be positive.

Switzerland After a flat 3rd quarter, especially in French and Italian speaking parts of the country, slightly positive trends are now observed on the Swiss wood flooring market. Renovation is the main driver but alternatives to wood solutions benefit the most. A stagnation is expected for the 4th quarter and the whole year 2020.

United Kingdom The country has been harshly hit by the pandemic and its market situation is comparable to the south of Europe with a recovery during the 3rd quarter. Nevertheless, the uncertainties related to the Brexit are impacting activities.

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